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Full text of "The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South seas ... With an account of the recapture of the vessel by the survivors; their shipwreck and subsequent horrible sufferings from famine"


University of California Berkeley 
Gift of 

THOMAS REX HARDY 












*hBBP 





[May, 1838. 

IMPORTANT WORKS 

JUST PUBLISHED BY 

HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW-YORK. 



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A New Hieroglyphical Bible, with 400 Cuts by Ad 
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Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea, and the 
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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. 
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board the American Brig Grampus on her Way to the South Seas 
in the Month of June, 1827, &c., &c., &c. 12mo. Engravings. 

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THE NARRATIVE 



OF 



ARTHUR GORDO.N P Y M. 

OF NANTUCKET. 



COMPRISING THE DETAILS OF A MUTINY AND ATROCIOUS BUTCHERY 

ON BOARD THE AMERICAN BRIG GRAMPUS, ON HER WAY TO 

THE SOUTH SEAS, IN THE MONTH OF JUNE, 1827. 

WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE RECAPTURE OF THE VESSEL BY THE 

SURVIVERS ; THEIR SHIPWRECK AND SUBSEQUENT HORRIBLE 

SUFFERINGS FROM FAMINE ; THEIR DELIVERANCE BY 

MEANS OF THE BRITISH SCHOONER JANE GUY J THE 

BRIEF CRUISE OF THIS LATTER VESSEL IN THE 

ANTARCTIC OCEAN ; HER CAPTURE, AND THE 

MASSACRE OF HER CREW AMONG A 

GROUP OF ISLANDS IN THE 

EIGHTY-FOURTH PARALLEL OF SOUTHERN LATITUDE; 

TOGETHER WITH THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES AND 
DISCOVERIES 

STILL FARTHER SOUTH 

TO WHICH THAT DISTRESSING CALAMITY GAVE KISB. 



NEW-YORK: 
HARPER & BROTHERS, 82 CLIFF-ST. 

1838. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1838, by 

HARPER & BROTHERS, 
in the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New-York. 



PREFACE. 



UPON my return to the United States a few 
months ago, after the extraordinary series of ad 
venture in the South Seas and elsewhere, of which 
an account is given in the following pages, accident 
threw me into the society of several gentlemen in 
Richmond, Va., who felt deep interest in all mat 
ters relating to the regions I had visited, and who 
were constantly urging it upon me, as a duty, to 
give my narrative to the public. I had several 
reasons, however, for declining to do so, some of 
which were of a nature altogether private, and con 
cern no person but myself; others not so much so. 
One consideration which deterred me was, that, 
having kept no journal during a greater portion of 
the time in which I was absent, I feared I should 
not be able to write, from mere memory, a state 
ment so minute and connected as to have the ap 
pearance of that truth it would really possess, bar 
ring only the natural and unavoidable exaggeration 
to which all of us are prone when detailing events 
which have had powerful influence in exciting the 
imaginative faculties. Another reason was, that 
the incidents to be narrated were of a nature so pos 
itively marvellous, that, unsupported as my asser 
tions must necessarily be (except by the evidence of 
a single individual, and he a half-breed Indian), I 
A2 



VI PREFACE. 



could only hope for belief among my family, and 
those of my friends who have had reason, through 
life, to put faith in my veracity the probability 
being that the public at large would regard what I 
should put forth as merely an impudent and inge 
nious fiction. A distrust in my own abilities as 
a writer was, nevertheless, one of the principal 
causes which prevented me from complying with 
the suggestions of my advisers. 

Among those gentlemen in Virginia who ex 
pressed the greatest interest in my statement, more 
particularly in regard to that portion of it which re 
lated to the Antarctic Ocean, was Mr. Poe, lately 
editor of the Southern Literary Messenger, a 
monthly magazine, published by Mr. Thomas W. 
White, in the city of Richmond. He strongly ad 
vised me, among others, to prepare at once a full 
account of what I had seen and undergone, and 
trust to the shrewdness and common sense of the 
public insisting, with great plausibility, that how 
ever roughly, as regards mere authorship, my book 
should be got up, its very uncouthness, if there 
were any, would give it all the better chance of 
being received as truth. 

Notwithstanding this representation, I did not 
make up my mind to do as he suggested. He 
afterward proposed (finding that I would not stir in 
the matter) that I should allow him to draw up, in 
his own words, a narrative of the earlier portion of 
my adventures, from facts afforded by myself, pub 
lishing it in the Southern Messenger under the garb 
of fiction. To this, perceiving no objection, I con 
sented, stipulating only that my real name should 
be retained. Two numbers of the pretended fic 
tion appeared, consequently, in the Messenger for 
January and February (1837), and, in order that it 
might certainly be regarded as fiction, the name 



PREFACE. Vll 



of Mr. Poe was affixed to the articles in the table 
of contents of the magazine. 

The manner in which this ruse was received 
has induced me at length to undertake a regular 
compilation and publication of the adventures in 
question ; for I found that, in spite of the air of fa 
ble which had been so ingeniously thrown around 
that portion of my statement which appeared in 
the Messenger (without altering or distorting a 
single fact), the public were still not at all disposed 
to receive it as fable, and several letters were sent 
to Mr. P.'s address distinctly expressing a convic 
tion to the contrary. I thence concluded that the 
facts of my narrative would prove of such a nature 
as to carry with them sufficient evidence of their 
own authenticity, and that I had consequently little 
to fear on the score of popular incredulity. 

This expose being made, it will be seen at once 
how much of what follows I claim to be my own 
writing ; and it will also be understood that no fact 
is misrepresented in the first few pages which 
were written by Mr. Poe. Even to those read 
ers who have not seen the Messenger, it will be 
unnecessary to point out where his portion ends 
and my own commences ; the difference in point 
of style will be readily perceived. 

A. G. PYM. 

New-York, July, 1838. 



NARRATIVE 



A. GORDON PYM. 



MY name is Arthur Gordon Pym. My father was a re 
spectable trader in sea-stores at Nantucket, where I was 
born. My maternal grandfather was an attorney in good 
practice. He was fortunate in everything, and had specu 
lated very successfully in stocks of the Edgarton New- 
Bank, as it was formerly called. By these and other 
means he had managed to lay by a tolerable sum of mon 
ey. He was more attached to myself, I believe, than 
to any other person in the world, and I expected to in 
herit the most of his property at his death. He sent me, 
at six years of age, to the school of old Mr. Ricketts, a 
gentleman with only one arm, and of eccentric manners 
he is well known to almost every person who has 
visited New Bedford. I stayed at his school until I was 
sixteen, when I left him for Mr. E. Ronald's academy 
on the hill. Here I became intimate with the son of 
Mr. Barnard, a sea captain, who generally sailed in the 
employ of Lloyd and Vredenburgh Mr. Barnard is also 
very well known in New Bedford, and has many rela 
tions, I am certain, in Edgarton. His son was named 
Augustus, and he was nearly two years older than my 
self. He had been on a whaling voyage with his father 
in the John Donaldson, and was always talking to me of 
his adventures in the South Pacific Ocean. I used fre 
quently to go home with him, and remain all day, and 
sometimes all night. We occupied the same bed, and 
he would be sure to keep me awake until almost light, 



10 NARRATIVE OP 

telling me stories of the natives of the Island of Tinian, 
and other places he had visited in his travels. At last I 
could not help being interested in what he said, and by 
degrees I felt the greatest desire to go to sea. I owned 
a sail-boat called the Ariel, and worth about seventy-five 
dollars. She had a half-deck or cuddy, and was rigged 
sloop-fashion I forget her tonnage, but she would hold 
ten persons without much crowding. In this boat we 
were in the habit of going on some of the maddest freaks 
in the world ; and, when I now think of them, it appears 
to me a thousand wonders that I am alive to-day. 

I will relate one of these adventures by way of intro 
duction to a longer and more momentous narrative. One 
night there was a party at Mr. Barnard's, and both Au 
gustus and myself were not a little intoxicated towards 
the close of it. As usual, in such cases, I took part of 
his bed in preference to going home. He went to sleep, 
as I thought, very quietly (it being near one when the 
party broke up), and without saying a word on his favour 
ite topic. It might have been half an hour from the time 
of our getting in bed, and I was just about falling into a 
doze, when he suddenly started up, and swore with a 
terrible oath that he would not go to sleep for any Arthur 
Pym in Christendom, when there was so glorious a 
breeze from the southwest. I never was so astonished 
in my life, not knowing what he intended, and thinking 
that the wines and liquors he had drunk had set him en 
tirely beside himself. He proceeded to talk very coolly, 
however, saying he knew that I supposed him intoxicated, 
but that he was never more sober in his life. He was 
only tired, he added, of lying in bed on such a fine night 
like a dog, and was determined to get up and dress, and 
go out on a frolic with the boat. I can hardly tell what 
possessed me, but the words were no sooner out of his 
mouth than I felt a thrill of the greatest excitement and 
pleasure, and thought his mad idea one of the most de 
lightful and most reasonable things in the world. It was 
blowing almost a gale, and the weather was very cold 
it being late in October. I sprang out of bed, neverthe 
less, in a kind of ecstasy, and told him I was quite as 



A. GORDON PYM. 11 

brave as himself, and quite as tired as he was of lying 
in bed like a dog, and quite as ready for any fun or 
frolic as any Augustus Barnard in Nantucket. 

We lost no time in getting on our clothes and hurrying 
down to the boat. She was lying at the old decayed 
wharf by the lumber-yard of Pankey & Co., and almost 
thumping her sides out against the rough logs. Augus 
tus got into her and bailed her, for she was nearly half 
full of water. This being done, we hoisted jib and main 
sail, kept full, and started boldly out to sea. ,;.- , 

The wind, as I before said, blew freshly from the 
southwest. The night was very clear and cold. Au 
gustus had taken the helm, and I stationed myself by the 
mast, on the deck of the cuddy. We flew along at a 
great rate neither of us having said a word since cast 
ing loose from the wharf. I now asked my companion 
what course he intended to steer, and what time he 
thought it probable we should get back. He whistled 
for a few minutes, and then said crustily, " I am going 
to sea you may go home if you think proper." Turning 
my eyes upon him, I perceived at once that, in spite of 
his assumed nonchalance, he was greatly agitated. I 
could see him distinctly by the light of the moon his 
face was paler than any marble, and his hand shook so 
excessively that he could scarcely retain hold of the 
tiller. I found that something had gone wrong, and be 
came seriously alarmed. At this period I knew little 
about the management of a boat, and was now depending 
entirely upon the nautical skill of my friend. The wind, 
too, had suddenly increased, as we were fast getting out 
of the lee of the land still I was ashamed to betray any 
trepidation, and for almost half an hour maintained a 
resolute silence. I could stand it no longer, however, 
and spoke to Augustus about the propriety of turning- 
back. As before, it was nearly a minute before he 
made answer, or took any notice of my suggestion. 
" By-and-by," said he at length " time enough home 
by-and-by." I had expected a similar reply, but there 
was something in the tone of these words which filled 
me with an indescribable feeling of dread. I again 



12 NARRATIVE OF 

looked at the speaker attentively. His lips were per 
fectly livid, and his knees shook so violently together 
that he seemed scarcely able to stand. " For God's 
sake, Augustus," I screamed, now heartily frightened, 
"what ails you? what is the matter? what are you 
going to do V " Matter !" he stammered, in the greatest 
apparent surprise, letting go the tiller at the same mo 
ment, and falling forward into the bottom of the boat 
" matter ! why, nothing is the matter going home 
d d don't you see 1" The whole truth now flashed 
upon me. I flew to him and raised him up. He was drunk 
beastly drunk he could no longer either stand, speak, 
or see. His eyes were perfectly glazed ; and as I let 
him go in the extremity of my despair, he rolled like 
a mere log into the bilge-water from which I had lifted 
him. It was evident that, during the evening, he had 
drunk far more than I suspected, and that his conduct in 
bed had been the result of a highly-concentrated state of 
intoxication a state which, like madness, frequently 
enables the victim to imitate the outward demeanour of 
one in perfect possession of his senses. The coolness 
of the night air, however, had had its usual effect the 
mental energy began to yield before its influence and 
the confused perception which he no doubt then had of 
his perilous situation had assisted in hastening the ca 
tastrophe. He was now thoroughly insensible, and there 
was no probability that he would be otherwise for many 
hours. 

It is hardly possible to conceive the extremity of my 
terror. The fumes of the wine lately taken had evapo 
rated, leaving me doubly timid and irresolute. I knew 
that I was altogether incapable of managing the boat, 
and that a fierce wind and strong ebb tide were hurrying 
us to destruction. A storm was evidently gathering be 
hind us ; we had neither compass nor provisions ; and it 
was clear that, if we held our present course, we should 
be out of sight of land before daybreak. These thoughts, 
with a crowd of others equally fearful, flashed through 
my mind with a bewildering rapidity, and for some mo 
ments paralyzed me beyond the possibility of making any 



A. GORDON PYM. 13 

exertion. The boat was going through the water at a 
terrible rate full before the wind no reef in either jib 
or mainsail running her bows completely under the 
foam. It was a thousand wonders she did not broach 
to Augustus having let go the tiller, as I said before, 
and I being too much agitated to think of taking it my 
self. By good luck, however, she kept steady, and 
gradually I recovered some degree of presence of mind. 
Still the wind was increasing fearfully ; and whenever 
we rose from a plunge forward, the sea behind fell 
combing over our counter, and deluged us with water. 
I was so utterly benumbed, too, in every limb, as to be 
nearly unconscious of sensation. At length I sum 
moned up the resolution of despair, and rushing to the 
mainsail, let it go by the run. As might have been 
expected, it flew over the bows, and, getting drenched 
with water, carried away the mast short off by the 
board. This latter accident alone saved me from instant 
destruction. Under the jib only, I now boomed along 
before the wind, shipping heavy seas occasionally over 
the counter, but relieved from the terror of immediate 
death. I took the helm, and breathed with greater free 
dom as I found that there yet remained to us a chance 
of ultimate escape. Augustus still lay senseless in the 
bottom of the boat ; and as there was imminent danger of 
his drowning (the water being nearly a foot deep just 
where he fell), I contrived to raise him partially up, and 
keep him in a sitting position, by passing a rope round 
his waist, and lashing it to a ringbolt in the deck of the 
cuddy. Having thus arranged everything as well as I 
could in my chilled and agitated condition, I recommend 
ed myself to God, and made up my mind to bear what 
ever might happen with all the fortitude in my power. 

Hardly had I come to this resolution, when, suddenly, 
a loud and long scream or yell, as if from the throats of 
a thousand demons, seemed to pervade the whole atmo 
sphere around and above the boat. Never while I live 
shall I forget the intense agony of terror I experienced 
at that moment. My hair stood erect on my head I 
felt the blood congealing in my veins my heart ceased 



14 NARRATIVE OF 

utterly to beat, and without having once raised my eyes 
to learn the source of iny alarm, I tumbled headlong and 
insensible upon the body of my fallen companion. 

I found myself, upon reviving, in the cabin of a large 
whaling-ship (the Penguin) bound to Nantucket. Sev 
eral persons were standing over me, and Augustus, paler 
than death, was busily occupied in chafing my hands. 
Upon seeing me open my eyes, his exclamations of grat 
itude and joy excited alternate laughter and tears from 
the rough-looking personages who were present. The 
mystery of our being in existence was now soon ex 
plained. We had been run down by the whaling-ship, 
which was close hauled, beating up to Nantucket with 
every sail she could venture to set, and consequently 
running almost at right angles to our own course. Sev 
eral men were on the look-out forward, but did not per 
ceive our boat until it was an impossibility to avoid 
coming in contact their shouts of warning upon seeing 
us were what so terribly alarmed me. The huge ship, 
I was told, rode immediately over us with as much ease 
as our own little vessel would have passed over a feath 
er, and without the least perceptible impediment to her 
progress. Not a scream arose from the deck of the vic 
tim there was a slight grating sound to be heard ming 
ling with the roar of wind and water, as the frail bark 
which was swallowed up rubbed for a moment along 
the keel of her destroyer but this was all. Thinking 
our boat (which it will be remembered was dismasted) 
some mere shell cut adrift as useless, the captain (Cap 
tain E. T. V. Block of New London) was for proceed 
ing on his course without troubling himself further about 
the matter. Luckily, there were two of the look-out who 
swore positively to having seen some person at our helm, 
and represented the possibility of yet saving him. A 
discussion ensued, when Block grew angry, and, after a 
while, said that " it was no business of his to be eternally 
watching for egg-shells ; that the ship should not put 
about for any such nonsense ; and if there was a man run 
down, it was nobody's fault but his own he might drown 
and be d d," or some language to that effect. Hen- 



A. GORDON PYM. 15 

derson, the first mate, now took the matter up, being 
justly indignant, as well as the whole ship's crew, at a 
speech evincing so base a degree of heartless atrocity. 
He spoke plainly, seeing himself upheld by the men, told 
the captain he considered him a fit subject for the gal 
lows, and that he would disobey his orders if he were 
hanged for it the moment he set his foot on shore. He 
strode aft, jostling Block (who turned very pale and made 
no answer) on one side, and seizing the helm, gave the 
word, in a firm voice, Hard-a-lee ! The men flew to 
their posts, and the ship went cleverly about. All this 
had occupied nearly five minutes, and it was supposed to 
be hardly within the bounds of possibility that any indi 
vidual could be saved allowing any to have been on 
board the boat. Yet, as the reader has seen, both Au 
gustus and myself were rescued ; and our deliverance 
seemed to have been brought about by two of those 
almost inconceivable pieces of good fortune which are 
attributed by the wise and pious to the special interfer 
ence of Providence. 

While the ship was yet in stays, the mate lowered the 
jolly-boat and jumped into her with the very two men, I 
believe, who spoke up as having seen me at the helm. 
They had just left the lee of the vessel (the moon still 
shining brightly) when she made a long and heavy roll 
to windward, and Henderson, at the same moment, start 
ing up in his seat, bawled out to his crew to back water. 
He would say nothing else repeating his cry impa 
tiently, back water! back water ! The men put back as 
speedily as possible ; but by this time the ship had gone 
round, and gotten fully under headway, although all 
hands on board were making great exertions to take in 
sail. In despite of the danger of the attempt, the mate 
clung to the main-chains as soon as they came within his 
reach. Another huge lurch now brought the starboard 
side of the vessel out of water nearly as far as her keel, 
when the cause of his anxiety was rendered obvious 
enough. The body of a man was seen to be affixed in 
the most singular manner to the smooth and shining 
bottom (the Penguin was coppered and copper- fastened), 



16 NARRATIVE OF 

and beating violently against it with every movement of 
the hull. After several ineffectual efforts, made during 
the lurches of the ship, and at the imminent risk of 
swamping the boat, I was finally disengaged from my 
perilous situation and taken on board for the body 
proved to be my own. It appeared that one of the 
timber-bolts having started and broken a passage through 
the copper, it had arrested my progress as I passed 
under the ship, and fastened me in so extraordinary a 
manner to her bottom. The head of the bolt had made 
its way through the collar of the green baize jacket I 
had on, and through the back part of my neck, forcing 
itself out between two sinews and just below the right 
ear. I was immediately put to bed although life seemed 
to be totally extinct. There was no surgeon on board. 
The captain, however, treated me with every attention 
to make amends, I presume, in the eyes of his crew, for 
his atrocious behaviour in the previous portion of the 
adventure. 

In the meantime, Henderson had again put off from the 
ship, although the wind was now blowing almost a hur 
ricane. He had not been gone many minutes when he 
fell in with some fragments of our boat, and shortly af 
terward one of the men with him asserted that he could 
distinguish a cry for help at intervals amid the roaring of 
the tempest. This induced the hardy seamen to perse 
vere in their search for more than half an hour, although 
repeated signals to return were made them by Captain 
Block, and although every moment on the water in so 
frail a boat was fraught to them with the most imminent 
and deadly peril. Indeed, it is nearly impossible to con 
ceive how the small jolly they were in could have escaped 
destruction for a single instant. She was built, however, 
for the whaling service, and was fitted, as I have since 
had reason to believe, with air-boxes, in the manner of 
some life-boats used on the coast of Wales. 

After searching in vain for about the period of time 
just mentioned, it was determined to get back to the ship. 
They had scarcely made this resolve when a feeble cry 
arose from a dark object which floated rapidly by. They 



A. GORDON PYM. 17 

pursued and soon overtook it. It proved to be the entire 
deck of the Ariel's cuddy. Augustus was struggling 
near it, apparently in the last agonies. Upon getting 
hold of him it was found that he was attached by a rope 
to the floating timber. This rope, it will be remembered, 
I had myself tied round his waist, and made fast to a 
ringbolt, for the purpose of keeping him in an upright 
position, and my so doing, it appeared, had been ulti 
mately the means of preserving his life. The Ariel was 
slightly put together, and in going down her frame nat 
urally went to pieces ; the deck of the cuddy, as might 
be expected, was lifted, by the force of the water 
rushing in, entirely from the main timbers, and floated 
(with other fragments, no doubt) to the surface Augus 
tus was buoyed up with it, and thus escaped a terrible 
death. 

It was more than an hour after being taken on board 
the Penguin before he could give any account of himself, 
or be made to comprehend the nature of the accident 
which had befallen our boat. At length he became thor 
oughly aroused, and spoke much of his sensations while 
in the water. Upon his first attaining any degree of 
consciousness, he found himself beneath the surface, 
whirling round and round with inconceivable rapidity, 
and with a rope wrapped in three or four folds tightly 
about his neck. In an instant afterward he felt himself 
going rapidly upward, when, his head striking violently 
against a hard substance, he again relapsed into insensi 
bility. Upon once more reviving he was in fuller posses 
sion of his reason this was still, how.ever, in the great 
est degree clouded and confused. He now knew that 
some accident had occurred, and that he was in the wa 
ter, although his mouth was above the surface, and he 
could breathe with some freedom. Possibly, at this 
period, the deck was drifting rapidly before the wind, 
and drawing him after it, as he floated upon his back. 
Of course, as long as he could have retained this posi 
tion, it would have been nearly impossible that he should 
be drowned. Presently a surge threw him directly athwart 
the deck; and this post he endeavoured to maintain, 
B3 



18 NARRATIVE OF 

screaming at intervals for help. Just before he was dis 
covered by Mr. Henderson, he had been obliged to relax 
his hold through exhaustion, and, falling into the sea, 
had given himself up for lost. During the whole period 
of his struggles he had not the faintest recollection of the 
Ariel, nor of any matters in connexion with the source 
of his disaster. A vague feeling of terror and despair 
had taken entire possession of his faculties. When he 
was finally picked up, every power of his mind had failed 
him ; and, as before said, it was nearly an hour after get 
ting on board the Penguin before he became fully aware 
of his condition. In regard to myself I was resusci 
tated from a state bordering very nearly upon death (and 
after every other means had been tried in vain for three 
hours and a half) by vigorous friction with flannels bathed 
in hot oil a proceeding suggested by Augustus. The 
wound in my neck, although of an ugly appearance, 
proved of little real consequence, and I soon recovered 
from its effects. 

The Penguin got into port about nine o'clock in the 
morning, after encountering one of the severest gales 
ever experienced off Nantucket. Both Augustus and 
myself managed to appear at Mr. Barnard's in time for 
breakfast which, luckily, was somewhat late, owing to 
the party over night. I suppose all at the table were too 
much fatigued themselves to notice our jaded appearance 
of course, it would not have borne a very rigid scrutiny. 
^Schoolboys, however, can accomplish wonders in the way 
of deception, and I verily believe not one of our friends 
in Nantucket had the slightest suspicion that the terrible 
story told by some sailors in town of their having run 
down a vessel at sea and drowned some thirty or forty 
poor devils, had reference either to the Ariel, my com 
panion, or myself. We two have since very frequently 
talked the matter over but never without a shudder. 
In one of our conversations' Augustus frankly confessed 
to me, that in his whole life he had at no time experienced 
so excruciating a sense of dismay, as when on board our 
little boat he first discovered the extent of his intoxica 
tion, and felt himself sinking beneath its influence. 



A. GORDON PYM. 19 



CHAPTER II. 

IN no affairs of mere prejudice, pro or con, do we de 
duce inferences with entire certainty even from the most 
simple data. It might be supposed that a catastrophe 
such as I have just related would have effectually cooled 
my incipient passion for the sea. On the contrary, I 
never experienced a more ardent longing for the wild 
adventures incident to the life of a navigator than within 
a week after our miraculous deliverance. This short 
period proved amply long enough to erase from my memo 
ry the shadows, and bring out in vivid light all the pleas- 
urably exciting points of colour, all the picturesqueness 
of the late perilous accident. My conversations with 
Augustus grew daily more frequent and more intensely 
full of interest. He had a manner of relating his stories 
of the ocean (more than one half of which I now sus 
pect to hav been sheer fabrications) well adapted to 
have weight with one of my enthusiastic temperament, 
and somewhat gloomy, although glowing imagination. It 
is strange, too, that he most strongly enlisted my feelings 
in behalf of the life of a seaman, when he depicted his 
more terrible moments of suffering and despair. For 
the bright side of the painting I had a limited sympathy. 
My visions were of shipwreck and famine ; of death or 
captivity among barbarian hordes ; of a lifetime dragged 
out in sorrow and tears, upon some gray and desolate 
rock, in an ocean unapproachable and unknown. Such 
visions or desires for they amounted to desires are 
common, I have since been assured, to the whole numer 
ous race of the melancholy among men at the time of 
which I speak I regarded them only as prophetic glimpses 
of a destiny which I felt myself in a measure bound to 
fulfil. Augustus thoroughly entered into my state of 
mind. It is probable, indeed, that our intimate commu 
nion had resulted in a partial interchange of character. 



20 NARRATIVE OF 

About eighteen months after the period of the Ariel's 
disaster, the firm of Lloyd and Vredenburgh (a house con 
nected in some manner with the Messieurs Enderby, I 
believe, of Liverpool) were engaged in repairing and fitting 
out the brig Grampus for a whaling voyage. She was 
an old hulk, and scarcely seaworthy when all was done 
to her that could be done. I hardly know why she was 
chosen in preference to other good vessels belonging to 
the same owners but so it was. Mr. Barnard was 
appointed to command her, and Augustus was going 
with him. While the brig was getting ready, he fre 
quently urged upon me the excellency of the opportunity 
now offered for indulging my desire of travel. He 
found me by no means an unwilling listener yet th$ 
matter could not be so easily arranged. My father 
made no direct opposition ; but my mother went into 
hysterics at the bare mention of the design ; and, more 
than all, my grandfather, from whom I expected much, 
vowed to cut me off with a shilling if I should ever 
broach the subject to him again. These difficulties, 
however, so far from abating my desire, only added fuel 
to the flame. I determined to go at all hazards ; and, 
having made known my intention to Augustus, we set 
about arranging a plan by which it might be accom 
plished. In the meantime I forbore speaking to any of 
my relations in regard to the voyage, and, as I busied my 
self ostensibly with my usual studies, it was supposed 
that I had abandoned the design. I have since fre 
quently examined my conduct on this occasion with 
sentiments of displeasure as well as of surprise. The 
intense hypocrisy I made use of for the furtherance of 
my project an hypocrisy pervading every word and ac 
tion of my life for so long a period of time could only 
have been rendered tolerable to myself by the wild and 
burning expectation with which I looked forward to the 
fulfilment of my long-cherished visions of travel. 

In pursuance of my scheme of deception, I was ne 
cessarily obliged to leave much to the management of 
Augustus, who was employed for the greater part of 
every day on board the Grampus, attending to some 



A. GORDON PYM. 21 

arrangements for his father in the cabin and cabin hold. 
At night, however, we were sure to have a conference, 
and talk over our hopes. After nearly a month passed 
in this manner, without our hitting upon any plan we 
thought likely to succeed, he told me at last that he had 
determined upon everything necessary. I had a rela 
tion living in New Bedford, a Mr. Ross, at whose house 
I was in the habit of spending occasionally two or three 
weeks at a time. The brig was to sail about the mid 
dle of June (June, 1827), and it was agreed that, a day 
or two before her putting to sea, my father was to re 
ceive a note, as usual, from Mr. Ross, asking me to 
come over and spend a fortnight with Robert and 
Emmet (his sons). Augustus charged himself with the 
enditing of this note and getting it delivered. Having 
set out, as supposed, for New Bedford, I was then to 
report myself to my companion, who would contrive a 
hiding-place for me in the Grampus. This hiding-place, 
he assured me, would be rendered sufficiently comfort 
able for a residence of many days, during which I was 
not to make my appearance. When the brig had pro 
ceeded so far on her course as to make any turning 
back a matter out of question, I should then, he said, be 
formally installed in all the comforts of the cabin ; and 
as to his father, he would only laugh heartily at the 
joke. Vessels enough would be met with by which a 
letter might be sent home explaining the adventure to 
my parents. 

The middle of June at length arrived, and everything 
had been matured. The note was written and delivered, 
and on a Monday morning I left the house for the New 
Bedford packet, as supposed. I went, however, straight 
to Augustus, who was waiting for me at the corner of a 
street. It had been our original plan that I should keep 
out of the way until dark, and then slip on board the 
brig ; but, as there was now a thick fog in our favour, 
it was agreed to lose no time in secreting me. Augus 
tus led the way to the wharf, and I followed at a little 
distance, enveloped in a thick seaman's cloak, which he 
had brought with him, so that my person might not be 



22 NARRATIVE OP 

easily recognised. Just as we turned the second corner, 
after passing Mr. Edmund's well, who should appear, 
standing right in front of me, and looking me full in the 
face, but old Mr. Peterson, my grandfather. "Why, 
bless my soul, Gordon," said he, after a long pause, 
" why, why whose dirty cloak is that you have on V 
" Sir !" I replied, assuming, as well as I could, in the ex 
igency of the moment, an air of offended surprise, and 
talking in the gruffest of all imaginable tones " sir ! you 
are a sum'mat mistaken my name, in the first place, 
bee'nt nothing at all like Goddin, and I'd want you for 
to know better, you blackguard, than to call my new ober- 
coat a darty one !" For my life I could hardly refrain 
from screaming with laughter at the odd manner in which 
the old gentleman received this handsome rebuke. He 
started back two or three steps, turned first pale and 
then excessively red, threw up his spectacles, then, put 
ting them down, ran full tilt at me, with his umbrella 
uplifted. He stopped short, however, in his career, as 
if struck with a sudden recollection ; and presently, turn 
ing round, hobbled off down the street, shaking all the 
while with rage, and muttering between his teeth, " Won't 
do new glasses thought it was Gordon d d good- 
for-nothing salt water Long Tom." 

After this narrow escape we proceeded with greater 
caution, and arrived at our point of destination in safety. 
There were only one or two of the hands on board, and 
these were busy forward, doing something to the fore 
castle combings. Captain Barnard, we knew very well, 
was engaged at Lloyd and Vredenburg's, and would re 
main there until late in the evening, so we had little to 
apprehend on his account. Augustus went first up the 
vessel's side, and in a short while I followed him, with 
out being noticed by the men at work. We proceeded 
at once into the cabin, and found no person there. It 
was fitted up in the most comfortable style a thing 
somewhat unusual in a whaling-vessel. There were 
four very excellent staterooms, with wide and conve 
nient berths. There was also a large stove, I took no 
tice, and a remarkably thick and valuable carpet cover- 



A. GORDON PYM. 23 

ing the floor of both the cabin and staterooms. The 
ceiling was full seven feet high, and, in short, everything 
appeared of a more roomy and agreeable nature than I 
had anticipated. Augustus, however, would allow me 
but little time for observation, insisting upon the neces 
sity of my concealing myself as soon as possible. He 
led the way into his own stateroom, which was on the 
starboard side of the brig, and next to the bulkheads. 
Upon entering, he closed the door and bolted it. I 
thought I had never seen a nicer little room than the one 
in which I now found myself. It was about ten feet 
long, and had only one berth, which, as I said before, 
was wide and convenient. In that portion of the closet 
nearest the bulkheads there was a space of four feet 
square, containing a table, a chair, and a set of hanging 
shelves full of books, chiefly books of voyages and trav 
els. There were many other little comforts in the room, 
among which I ought not to forget a kind of safe or re 
frigerator, in which Augustus pointed out to me a host 
of delicacies, both in the eating and drinking department. 

He now pressed with his knuckles upon a certain spot 
of the carpet in one corner of the space just mentioned, 
letting me know that a portion of the flooring, about six 
teen inches square, had been neatly cut out and again 
adjusted. As he pressed, this portion rose up at one 
end sufficiently to allow the passage of his finger be 
neath. In this manner he raised the mouth of the trap 
(to which the carpet was still fastened by tacks), and I 
found that it led into the after hold. He next lit a small 
taper by means of a phosphorus match, and, placing the 
light in a dark lantern, descended with it through the 
opening, bidding me follow. I did so, and he then pulled 
the cover upon the hole, by means of a nail driven into 
the under side the carpet, of course, resuming its ori 
ginal position on the floor of the stateroom, and all 
traces of the aperture being concealed. 

The taper gave out so feeble a ray, that it was with 
the greatest difficulty I could grope my way through the 
confused mass of lumber among which I now found my 
self. By degrees, however, my eyes became accustomed 



24 NARRATIVE OP 

to the gloom, and I proceeded with less trouble, holding 
on to the skirts of my friend's coat. He brought me, at 
length, after creeping and winding through innumerable 
narrow passages, to an iron-bound box, such as is used 
sometimes for packing fine earthenware. It was nearly 
four feet high, and full six long, but very narrow. Two 
large empty oil-casks lay on the top of it, and above 
these, again, a vast quantity of straw matting, piled up 
as high as the floor of the cabin. In every other direc 
tion around was wedged as closely as possible, even up 
to the ceiling, a complete chaos of almost every species 
of ship-furniture, together with a heterogeneous medley 
of crates, hampers, barrels, and bales, so that it seemed 
a matter no less than miraculous that we had discovered 
any passage at all to the box. I afterward found that 
Augustus had purposely arranged the stowage in this 
hold with a view to affording me a thorough conceal 
ment, having had only one assistant in the labour, a man 
not going out in the brig. 

My companion now showed me that one of the ends 
of the box could be removed at pleasure. He slipped it 
aside and displayed the interior, at which I was exces 
sively amused. A mattress from one of the cabin berths 
covered the whole of its bottom, and it contained almost 
every article of mere comfort which could be crowded 
into so small a space, allowing me, at the same time, 
sufficient room for my accommodation, either in a sitting 
position or lying at full length. Among other things, 
there were some books, pen, ink, and paper, three blan 
kets, a large jug full of water, a keg of sea-biscuit, three 
or four immense Bologna sausages, an enormous ham, a 
cold leg of roast mutton, and half a dozen bottles of cor 
dials and liqueurs. I proceeded immediately to take 
possession of my little apartment, and this with feelings 
of higher satisfaction, I am sure, than any monarch ever 
experienced upon entering a new palace. Augustus now 
pointed out to me the method of fastening the open end 
of the box, and then, holding the taper close to the deck, 
showed me a piece of dark whipcord lying along it. This, 
he said, extended from my hiding-place throughout all 



A. GORDON PYM. 25 

the necessary windings among the lumber, to a nail 
which was driven into the deck of the hold, immediately 
beneath the trapdoor leading into his stateroom. By 
means of this cord I should be enabled readily to trace 
my way out without his guidance, provided any unlooked- 
for accident should render such a step necessary. He 
now took his departure, leaving with me the lantern, to 
gether with a copious supply of tapers and phosphorus, 
and promising to pay me a visit as often as he could con 
trive to do so without observation. This was on the 
seventeenth of June. 

I remained three days and nights (as nearly as I could 
guess) in my hiding-place without getting out of it at all, 
except twice for the purpose of stretching my limbs by 
standing erect between two crates just opposite the open 
ing. During the whole period I saw nothing of Augus 
tus ; but this occasioned me little uneasiness, as I knew 
the brig was expected to put to sea every hour, and in 
the bustle he would not easily find opportunities of com 
ing down to me. At length I heard the trap open and 
shut, and presently he called in a low voice, asking if all 
was well, and if there was anything I wanted. " Noth 
ing," I replied ; " I am as comfortable as can be ; when 
will the brig sail ]" " She will be under weigh in less 
than half an hour," he answered. " I came to let you 
know, and for fear you should be uneasy at my absence. 
I shall not have a chance of coming down again for some 
time perhaps for three or four days more. All is go 
ing on right aboveboard. After I go up and close the 
trap, do you creep along by the whipcord to where the 
nail is driven in. You will find my watch there it may 
be useful to you, as you have no daylight to keep time 
by. I suppose you can't tell how long you have been, 
buried only three days this is the twentieth. I would 
bring the watch to your box, but am afraid of being 
missed." With this he went up. 

In about an hour after he had gone I distinctly felt 

the brig in motion, and congratulated myself upon having 

at length fairly commenced a voyage. Satisfied with 

this idea, I determined to make my mind as easy as pos- 

C 



26 NARRATIVE OP 

sible, and await the course of events until I should be 
permitted to exchange the box for the more roomy, al 
though hardly more comfortable, accommodations of the 
cabin. My first care was to get the watch. Leaving 
the taper burning, I groped along in the dark, following 
the cord through windings innumerable, in some of which 
I discovered that, after toiling a long distance, I was 
brought back within a foot or two of a former position. 
At length I reached the nail, and, securing the object of 
my journey, returned with it in safety. I now looked 
over the books which had been so thoughtfully provided, 
and selected the expedition of Lewis and Clarke to the 
mouth of the Columbia. With this I amused myself for 
some time, when, growing sleepy, I extinguished the 
light with great care, and soon fell into a sound slumber. 
Upon awaking I felt strangely confused in mind, and 
some time elapsed before I could bring to recollection 
all the various circumstances of my situation. By de 
grees, however, I remembered all. Striking a light, I 
looked at the watch ; but it was run down, and there 
were, consequently, no means of determining how long 
I had slept. My limbs were greatly cramped, and I was 
forced to relieve them by standing between the crates. 
Presently, feeling an almost ravenous appetite, I be 
thought myself of the cold mutton, some of which I had 
eaten just before going to sleep, and found excellent. 
What was my astonishment at discovering it to be in a 
state of absolute putrefaction ! This circumstance occa 
sioned me great disquietude ; for, connecting it with the 
disorder of mind I experienced upon awaking, I began to 
suppose that I must have slept for an inordinately long 
period of time. The close atmosphere of the hold might 
have had something to do with this, and might, in the 
end, be productive of the most serious results. My head 
ached excessively ; I fancied that I drew every breath 
with difficulty ; and, in short, I was oppressed with a 
multitude of gloomy feelings. Still I could not venture 
to make any disturbance by opening the trap or other 
wise, and, having wound up the watch, contented myself 
as well as possible. 



A. GORDON PYM. 27 

Throughout the whole of the next tedious twenty-four 
hours no person came to my relief, and I could not help 
accusing Augustus of the grossest inattention. What 
alarmed me chiefly was, that the water in my jug was 
reduced to about half a pint, and I was suffering much 
from thirst, having eaten freely of the Bologna sausages 
after the loss of my mutton. I became very uneasy, and 
could no longer take any interest in my books. I was 
overpowered, too, with a desire to sleep, yet trembled at 
the thought of indulging it, lest there might exist some 
pernicious influence, like that of burning charcoal, in the 
confined air of the hold. In the mean time the roll of 
the brig told me that we were far in the main ocean, and 
a dull humming sound, which reached my ears as if from 
an immense distance, convinced me no ordinary gale was 
blowing. I could not imagine a reason for the absence 
of Augustus. We were surely far enough advanced on 
our voyage to allow of my going up. Some accident 
might have happened to him but I could think of none 
which would account for his suffering me to remain so 
long a prisoner, except, indeed, his having suddenly died 
or fallen overboard, and upon this idea I could not dwell 
with any degree of patience. It was possible that we 
had been baffled by head winds, and were still in the 
near vicinity of Nantucket. This notion, however, I 
was forced to abandon ; for, such being the case, the 
brig must have frequently gone about ; and I was entire 
ly satisfied, from her continual inclination to the lar 
board, that she had been sailing all along with a steady 
breeze on her starboard quarter. Besides, granting that 
we were still in the neighbourhood of the island, why 
should not Augustus have visited me and informed me 
of the circumstance 1 Pondering in this manner upon 
the difficulties of my solitary and cheerless condition, I 
resolved to wait yet another twenty-four hours, when, if 
no relief were obtained, I would make my way to the 
trap, and endeavour either to hold a parley with my 
friend, or get at least a little fresh air through the open 
ing, and a further supply of water from his stateroom. 
While occupied with this thought, however, I fell, in 



28 NARRATIVE OF 

spite of every exertion to the contrary, into a state of 
profound sleep, or rather stupor. My dreams were of 
the most terrific description. Every species of calamity 
and horror befell me. Among other miseries, I was 
smothered to death between huge pillows, by demons of 
the most ghastly and ferocious aspect. Immense ser 
pents held me in their embrace, and looked earnestly in 
my face with their fearfully shining eyes. Then deserts, 
limitless, and of the most forlorn and awe-inspiring char 
acter, spread themselves out before me. Immensely 
tall trunks of trees, gray and leafless, rose up in end 
less succession as far as the eye could reach. Their 
roots were concealed in wide-spreading morasses, whose 
dreary water lay intensely black, still, and altogether ter 
rible, beneath. And the strange trees seemed endowed 
with a human vitality, and, waving to and fro their skel 
eton arms, were crying to the silent waters for mercy, in 
the shrill and piercing accents of the most acute agony 
and despair. The scene changed ; and I stood, naked 
and alone, amid the burning sand-plains of Zahara. At 
my feet lay crouched a fierce lion of the tropics. Sud 
denly his wild eyes opened and fell upon me. With a 
convulsive bound he sprang to his feet, and laid bare his 
horrible teeth. In another instant there burst from his 
red throat a roar like the thunder of the firmament, and 
I fell impetuously to the earth. Stifling in a paroxysm 
of terror, I at last found myself partially awake. My 
dream, then, was not all a dream. Now, at least, I was 
in possession of my senses. The paws of some huge 
and real monster were pressing heavily upon my bosom 
his hot breath was in my ear and his white and 
ghastly fangs were gleaming upon me through the gloom. 
Had a thousand lives hung upon the movement of a 
limb or the utterance of a syllable, I could have neither 
stirred nor spoken. The beast, whatever it was, retained 
his position without attempting any immediate violence, 
while I lay in an utterly helpless, and, I fancied, a dy 
ing condition beneath him. I felt that my powers of 
body and mind were fast leaving me in a word, that I 
was perishing, and perishing of sheer fright. My brain 



A. GORDON PYM. 29 

swam I grew deadly sick my vision failed even the 
glaring eyeballs above me grew dim. Making a last 
strong effort, I at length breathed a faint ejaculation to 
God, and resigned myself to die. The sound of my 
voice seemed to arouse all the latent fury of the animal. 
He precipitated himself at full length upon my body ; 
but what was my astonishment, when, with a long and 
low whine, he commenced licking my face and hands 
with the greatest eagerness, and with the most extrava 
gant demonstrations of affection and joy ! I was bewil 
dered, utterly lost in amazement but I could not forget 
the peculiar whine of my Newfoundland dog Tiger, and 
the odd manner of his caresses I well knew. It was 
he. I experienced a sudden rush of blood to my tem 
ples a giddy and overpowering sense of deliverance 
and reanimation. I rose hurriedly from the mattress 
upon which I had been lying, and, throwing myself 
upon the neck of my faithful follower and friend, relieved 
the long oppression of my bosom in a flood of the most 
passionate tears. 

As upon a former occasion, my conceptions were in 
a state of the greatest indistinctness and confusion after 
leaving the mattress. For a long time I found it nearly 
impossible to connect any ideas but, by very slow de 
grees, my thinking faculties returned, and I again called 
to memory the several incidents of my condition. For 
the presence of Tiger I tried in vain to account ; and 
after busying myself with a thousand different conjec 
tures respecting him, was forced to content myself with 
rejoicing that he was with me to share my dreary soli 
tude, and render me comfort by his caresses. Most 
people love their dogs but for Tiger I had an affection 
far more ardent than common ; and never, certainly, 
did any creature more truly deserve it. For seven 
years he had been my inseparable companion, and in a 
multitude of instances had given evidence of all the 
noble qualities for which we value the animal. I had 
rescued him, when a puppy, from the clutches of a ma 
lignant little villain in Nantucket, who was leading 
him, with a rope around his neck, to the water ; and the 



30 NARRATIVE OP 

grown dog repaid the obligation, about three years af 
terward, by saving me from the bludgeon of a street- 
robber. 

Getting now hold of the watch, I found, upon apply 
ing it to my ear, that it had again run down ; but at this 
I was not at all surprised, being convinced, from the pe 
culiar state of my feelings, that I had slept, as before, 
for a very long period of time ; how long, it was of 
course impossible to say. I was burning up with fever, 
and my thirst was almost intolerable. I felt about the 
box for my little remaining supply of water ; for I had 
no light, the taper having burnt to the socket of the 
lantern, and the phosphorus-box not coming readily to 
hand. Upon finding the jug, however, I discovered it to 
be empty Tiger, no doubt, having been tempted to 
drink it, as well as to devour the remnant of mutton, the 
bone of which lay, well picked, by the opening of the 
box. The spoiled meat I could well spare, but my 
heart sank as I thought of the water. I was feeble in 
the extreme so much so that I shook all over, as with 
an ague, at the slightest movement or exertion. To add 
to my troubles, the brig was pitching and rolling with 
great violence, and the oil-casks which lay upon my box 
were in momentary danger of falling down, so as to 
block up the only way of ingress or egress. I felt, also, 
terrible sufferings from sea-sickness. These considera 
tions determined me to make my way, at all hazards, to 
the trap, and obtain immediate relief, before I should be 
incapacitated from doing so altogether. Having come to 
this resolve, I again felt about for the phosphorus-box 
and tapers. The former I found after some little 
trouble ; but, not discovering the tapers as soon as I had 
expected (for I remembered very nearly the spot in 
which I had placed them), I gave up the search for the 
present, and bidding Tiger lie quiet, began at once my 
journey towards the trap. 

In this attempt my great feebleness became more 
than ever apparent. It was with the utmost difficulty I 
could crawl along at all, and very frequently my limbs 
sank suddenly from beneath me ; when, falling prostrate 



A. GORDON PYM. 31 

on my face, I would remain for some minutes in a state 
bordering on insensibility. Still I struggled forward by 
slow degrees, dreading every moment that I should 
swoon amid the narrow and intricate windings of the 
lumber, in which event I had nothing but death to ex 
pect as the result. At length, upon making a push for 
ward with all the energy I could command, I struck my 
forehead violently against the sharp corner of an iron- 
bound crate. The accident only stunned me for a few 
moments ; but I found, to my inexpressible grief, that 
the quick and violent roll of the vessel had thrown the 
crate entirely across my path, so as effectually to block 
up the passage. With my utmost exertions I could not 
move it a single inch from its position, it being closely 
wedged in among the surrounding boxes and ship-furni 
ture. It became necessary, therefore, enfeebled as I 
was, either to leave the guidance of the whipcord and 
seek out a new passage, or to climb over the obstacle, 
and resume the path on the other side. The former 
alternative presented too many difficulties and dangers 
to be thought of without a shudder. In my present 
weak state of both mind and body, I should infallibly 
lose my way if I attempted it, and perish miserably 
amid the dismal and disgusting labyrinths of the hold. 
I proceeded, therefore, without hesitation, to summon up 
all my remaining strength and fortitude, and endeavour, 
as I best might, to clamber over the crate. 

Upon standing erect, with this end in view, I found the 
undertaking even a more serious task than my fears had 
led me to imagine. On each side of the narrow passage 
arose a complete wall of various heavy lumber, which 
the least blunder on my part might be the means of 
bringing down upon my head ; or, if this accident did 
not occur, the path might be effectually blocked up 
against my return by the descending mass, as it was in 
front by the obstacle there. The crate itself was a long 
and unwieldy box, upon which no foothold could be ob 
tained. In vain I attempted, by every means in my 
power, to reach the top, with the hope of being thus ena 
bled to draw myself up. Had I succeeded in reaching 



32 NARRATIVE OF 

it, it is certain that my strength would have proved ut 
terly inadequate to the task of getting over, and it was 
better in every respect that I failed. At length, in a des 
perate effort to force the crate from its ground, I felt a 
strong vibration in the side next me. I thrust my hand 
eagerly to the edge of the planks, and found that a very 
large one was loose. With my pocket-knife, which 
luckily I had with me, I succeeded, after great labour, 
in prying it entirely off; and, getting through the aper 
ture, discovered, to my exceeding joy, that there were 
no boards on the opposite side in other words, that the 
top was wanting, it being the bottom through which 
I had forced my way. I now met with no important 
difficulty in proceeding along the line until I finally 
reached the nail. With a beating heart I stood erect, 
and with a gentle touch pressed against the cover of 
the trap. It did not rise as soon as I had expected, and 
I pressed it with somewhat more determination, still 
dreading lest some other person than Augustus might be 
in his stateroom. The door, however, to my astonish 
ment, remained steady, and I became somewhat uneasy, 
for I knew that it had formerly required little or no ef 
fort to remove it. I pushed it strongly it was never 
theless firm : with all my strength it still did not give 
way : with rage, with fury, with despair it set at defi 
ance my utmost efforts ; and it was evident, from the 
unyielding nature of the resistance, that the hole had 
either been discovered and effectually nailed up, or that 
some immense weight had been placed upon it, which it 
was useless to think of removing, 

My sensations were those of extreme horror and dis 
may. In vain I attempted to reason on the probable 
cause of my being thus entombed. J could summon up 
no connected chain of reflection, and, sinking on the 
floor, gave way, unresistingly, to the most gloomy ima 
ginings, in which the dreadful deaths of thirst, famine, 
suffocation, and premature interment, crowded upon me 
as the prominent disasters to be encountered. At length 
there returned to me some portion of presence of mind. 
I arose, and felt with my fingers for the seams or cracks 



A. GORDON PYM. 33 

of the aperture. Having found them, I examined them 
closely to ascertain if they emitted any light from the 
stateroom; but none was visible. I then forced the 
penblade of my knife through them, until I met with 
some hard obstacle. Scraping against it, I discovered 
it to be a solid mass of iron, which, from its peculiar 
wavy feel as I passed the blade along it, I concluded to 
be a chain-cable. The only course now left me was to 
retrace my way to the box, and there either yield to my 
sad fate, or try so to tranquillize my mind as to admit of 
my arranging some plan of escape. I immediately set 
about the attempt, and succeeded, after innumerable dif 
ficulties, in getting back. As I sank, utterly exhausted, 
upon the mattress, Tiger threw himself at full length by 
my side, and seemed as if desirous, by his caresses, of 
consoling me in my troubles, and urging me to bear 
them with fortitude. 

The singularity of his behaviour at length forcibly ar 
rested my attention. After licking my face and hands 
for some minutes, he would suddenly cease doing so, 
and utter a low whine. Upon reaching out my hand 
towards him, I then invariably found him lying on his 
back, with his paws uplifted. This conduct, so fre 
quently repeated, appeared strange, and I could in no 
manner account for it. As the dog seemed distressed, 
I concluded that he had received some injury ; and, 
taking his paws in my hands, I examined them one by 
one, but found no sign of any hurt. I then supposed 
him hungry, and gave him a large piece of ham, which 
he devoured with avidity afterward, however, resu 
ming his extraordinary manosuvres. I now imagined 
that he was suffering, like myself, the torments of thirst, 
and was about adopting this conclusion as the true one, 
when the idea occurred to me that I had as yet only 
examined his paws, and that there might possibly be a 
wound upon some portion of his body or head. The 
latter I felt carefully over, but found nothing. On 
passing my hand, however, along his back, I perceived 
a slight erection of the hair extending completely across 
it. Probing this with my finger, I discovered a string, 



34 NARRATIVE OF 

and, tracing it up, found that it encircled the whole 
body. Upon a closer scrutiny, I came across a small 
slip of what had the feeling of letter paper, through 
which the string had been fastened in such a manner as 
to bring it immediately beneath the left shoulder of the 
animal. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE thought instantly occurred to me that the paper 
was a note from Augustus, and that some unaccountable 
accident having happened to prevent his relieving me 
from my dungeon, he had devised this method of ac 
quainting me with the true state of affairs. Trembling 
with eagerness, I now commenced another search for 
my phosphorus matches and tapers. I had a confused 
recollection of having put them carefully away just be 
fore falling asleep ; and, indeed, previously to my last 
journey to the trap, I had been able to remember the 
exact spot where I had deposited them. But now I en 
deavoured in vain to call it to mind, and busied my 
self for a full hour in a fruitless and vexatious search 
for the missing articles ; never, surely, was there a more 
tantalizing state of anxiety and suspense. At length, 
while groping about, with my head close to the ballast, 
near the opening of the box, and outside of it, I per 
ceived a faint glimmering of light in the direction of the 
steerage. Greatly surprised, I endeavoured to make my 
way towards it, as it appeared to be but a few feet from 
my position. Scarcely had I moved with this intention, 
when I lost sight of the glimmer entirely, and, before I 
could bring it into view again, was obliged to feel along 
by the box until I had exactly resumed my original sit 
uation. Now, moving my head with caution to and fro, 
I found that, by proceeding slowly, with great care, in 
an opposite direction to that in which I had at first 



A. GORDON PYM. 35 

started, I was enabled to draw near the light, still keep 
ing it in view. Presently I came directly upon it (hav 
ing squeezed my way through innumerable narrow wind 
ings), and found that it proceeded from some fragments 
of my matches lying in an empty barrel turned upon its 
side. I was wondering how they came in such a place, 
when my hand fell upon two or three pieces of taper- 
wax, which had been evidently mumbled by the dog. I 
concluded at once that he had devoured the whole of my 
supply of candles, and I felt hopeless of being ever able 
to read the note of Augustus. The small remnants of 
the wax were so mashed up among other rubbish in the 
barrel, that I despaired of deriving any service from 
them, and left them as they were. The phosphorus, of 
which there was only a speck or two, I gathered up as 
well as I could, and returned with it, after much dif 
ficulty, to my box, where Tiger had all the while re 
mained. 

What to do next I could not tell. The hold was so 
intensely dark that I could not see my hand, however 
close I would hold it to my face. The white slip of 
paper could barely be discerned, and not even that when 
I looked at it directly ; by turning the exterior portions 
of the retina towards it, that is to say, by surveying it 
slightly askance, I found that it became in some meas 
ure perceptible. Thus the gloom of my prison may be 
imagined, and the note of my friend, if indeed it were a 
note from him, seemed only likely to throw me into fur 
ther trouble, by disquieting to no purpose my already 
enfeebled and agitated mind. In vain I revolved in my 
brain a multitude of absurd expedients for procuring 
light such expedients precisely as a man in the per 
turbed sleep occasioned by opium would be apt to fall 
upon for a similar purpose each and all of which ap 
pear by turns to the dreamer the most reasonable and 
the most preposterous of conceptions, just as the reason 
ing or imaginative faculties flicker, alternately, one 
above the other. At last an idea occurred to me which 
seemed rational, and which gave me cause to wonder, 
very justly, that I had not entertained it before. I 



36 NARRATIVE OP 

placed the slip of paper on the back of a book, and, col 
lecting the fragments of the phosphorus matches which 
I had brought from the barrel, laid them together upon 
the paper. I then, with the palm of my hand, rubbed 
the whole over quickly yet steadily. A clear light dif 
fused itself immediately throughout the whole surface ; 
and had there been any writing upon it, I should not 
have experienced the least difficulty, I am sure, in read 
ing it. Not a syllable was there, however nothing but 
a dreary and unsatisfactory blank ; the illumination died 
away in a few seconds, and my heart died away within 
me as it went. 

I have before stated more than once that my intellect, 
for some period prior to this, had been in a condition 
nearly bordering on idiocy. There were, to be sure, 
momentary intervals of perfect sanity, and, now and 
then, even of energy ; but these were few. It must be 
remembered that I had been, for many days certainly, 
inhaling the almost pestilential atmosphere of a close 
hold in a whaling vessel, and a long portion of that time 
but scantily supplied with water. For the last fourteen 
or fifteen hours I had none nor had I slept during that 
time. Salt provisions of the most exciting kind had 
been my chief, and, indeed, since the loss of the mutton, 
my only supply of food, with the exception of the sea- 
biscuit ; and these latter were utterly useless to me, as 
they were too dry and hard to be swallowed in the 
swollen and parched condition of my throat. I was 
now in a high state of fever, and in every respect ex 
ceedingly ill. This will account for the fact that many 
miserable hours of despondency elapsed after my last 
adventure with the phosphorus, before the thought sug 
gested itself that I had examined only one side of the 
paper. I shall not attempt to describe my feelings of 
rage (for I believe I was more angry than anything 
else) when the egregious oversight I had committed 
flashed suddenly upon my perception. The blunder it 
self would have been unimportant, had not my own folly 
and impetuosity rendered it otherwise in my disappoint 
ment -at not finding some words upon the slip, I had 



A. GORDON PYM. 37 

childishly torn it in pieces and thrown it away, it was 
impossible to say where. 

From the worst part of this dilemma I was relieved 
by the sagacity of Tiger. Having got, after a long 
search, a small piece of the note, I put it to the dog's 
nose, and endeavoured to make him understand that he 
must bring me the rest of it, To my astonishment (for 
I had taught him none of the usual tricks for which his 
breed are famous), he seemed to enter at once into my 
meaning, and, rummaging about for a few moments, 
soon found another considerable portion. Bringing me 
this, he paused a while, and, rubbing his nose against rny 
hand, appeared to be waiting for my approval of what he 
had done. I patted him on the head, when he immedi 
ately made off again. It was now some minutes before 
he came back but when he did come, he brought with 
him a large slip, which proved to be all the paper mis 
sing it having been torn, it seems, only into three 
pieces. Luckily, I had no trouble in finding what few frag 
ments of the phosphorus were left being guided by the 
indistinct glow one or two of the particles still emitted. 
My difficulties had taught me the necessity of caution, 
and I now took time to reflect upon what I was about to 
do. It was very probable, I considered, that some 
words were written upon that side of the paper which 
had not been examined but which side was that 1 Fit 
ting the pieces together gave me no clew in this respect, 
although it assured me that the words (if there were any) 
would be found all on one side, and connected in a 
proper manner, as written. There was the greater ne 
cessity of ascertaining the point in question beyond a 
doubt, as the phosphorus remaining would be altogether 
insufficient for a third attempt, should I fail in the one I 
was now about to make. I placed the paper on a book 
as before, and sat for some minutes thoughtfully revolv 
ing the matter over in my mind. At last I thought it 
barely possible that the written side might have some 
unevenness on its surface, which a delicate sense of 
feeling might enable me to detect. I determined to 
make the experiment, and passed my finger very care- 
D 



38 NARRATIVE OF 

fully over the side which first presented itself nothing 
however, was perceptible, and I turned the paper, ad 
justing it on the book. I now again carried my fore 
finger cautiously along, when I was aware of an exceed 
ingly slight, but still discernible glow, which followed 
as it proceeded. This, I knew, must arise from some 
very minute remaining particles of the phosphorus with 
which I had covered the paper in my previous attempt. 
The other, or under side, then, was that on which lay 
the writing, if writing there should finally prove to be. 
Again I turned the note, and went to work as I had pre 
viously done. Having rubbed in the phosphorus, a bril 
liancy ensued as before but this time several lines of 
MS. in a large hand, and apparently in red ink, became 
distinctly visible. The glimmer, although sufficiently 
bright, was but momentary. Still, had I not been too 
greatly excited, there would have been ample time enough 
for me to peruse the whole three sentences before me 
for I saw there were three. In my anxiety, however, to 
read all at once, I succeeded only in reading the seven 
concluding words, which thus appeared : " blood your 
life depends upon lying close." 

Had I been able to ascertain the entire contents of 
the note the full meaning of the admonition which my 
friend had thus attempted to convey, that admonition, 
even although it should have revealed a story of disaster 
the most unspeakable, could not, I am firmly convinced, 
have imbued my mind with one tithe of the harrowing 
and yet indefinable horror with which I was inspired by 
the fragmentary warning thus received. And "blood" 
too, that word of all words so rife at all times with 
mystery, and suffering, and terror how trebly full of 
import did it now appear how chillily and heavily (dis 
jointed, as it thus was, from any foregoing words to 
qualify or render it distinct) did its vague syllables fall, 
amid the deep gloom of my prison, into the innermost 
recesses of my soul ! 

Augustus had, undoubtedly, good reasons for wishing 
me to remain concealed, and I formed a thousand sur 
mises as to what they could be but I could think of 



A. GORDON PYM. 39 

nothing affording a satisfactory solution of the mystery. 
Just after returning from my last journey to the trap, 
and before my attention had been otherwise directed by 
the singular conduct of Tiger, I had come to the reso 
lution of making myself heard at all events by those on 
board, or, if I could not succeed in this directly, of 
trying to cut my way through the orlop deck. The half 
certainty which I felt of being able to accomplish one of 
these two purposes in the last emergency, had given me 
courage (which I should not otherwise have had) to 
endure the evils of my situation. The few words I had 
been able to read, however, had cut me off from these 
final resources, and I now, for the first time, felt all the 
misery of my fate. In a paroxysm of despair I threw 
myself again upon the mattress, where, for about the 
period of a day and night, I lay in a kind of stupor, re 
lieved only by momentary intervals of reason and recol 
lection. 

At length I once more arose, and busied myself in 
reflection upon the horrors which encompassed me. 
For another twenty-four hours it was barely possible 
that I might exist without water for a longer time I 
could not do so. During the first portion of my impris 
onment I had made free use of the cordials with which 
Augustus had supplied me, but they only served to ex 
cite fever, without in the least degree assuaging my 
thirst. I had now only about a gill left, and this was of 
a species of strong peach liqueur at which my stomach 
revolted. The sausages were entirely consumed ; of 
the ham nothing remained but a small piece of the skin ; 
and all the biscuit, except a few fragments of one, had 
been eaten by Tiger. To add to my troubles, I found 
that my headache was increasing momentarily, and with 
it the species of delirium which had distressed me more 
or less since my first falling asleep. For some hours 
past it had been with the greatest difficulty I could breathe 
at all, and now each attempt at so doing was attended 
with the most distressing spasmodic action of the chest, 
But there was still another and very different source of 
disquietude, and one, indeed, whose harassing terrors 



40 NARRATIVE OF 

had been the chief means of arousing me to exertion 
from my stupor on the mattress. It arose from the de 
meanour of the dog. 

I first observed an alteration in his conduct while rub 
bing in the phosphorus on the paper in my last attempt. 
As I rubbed, he ran his nose against my hand with a 
slight snarl ; but I was too greatly excited at the time 
to pay much attention to the circumstance. Soon after 
ward, it will be remembered, I threw myself on the 
mattress, and fell into a species of lethargy. Presently 
I became aware of a singular hissing sound close at my 
ears, and discovered it to proceed from Tiger, who was 
panting and wheezing in a state of the greatest apparent 
excitement, his eyeballs flashing fiercely through the 
gloom. I spoke to him, when he replied with a low 
growl, and then remained quiet. Presently I relapsed 
into my stupor, from which I was again awakened in a 
similar manner. This was repeated three or four times, 
until finally his behaviour inspired me with so great a de 
gree of fear that I became fully aroused. He was now 
lying close by the door of the box, snarling fearfully, al 
though in a kind of under tone, and grinding his teeth as 
if strongly convulsed. I had no doubt whatever that the 
want of water or the confined atmosphere of the hold 
had driven him mad, and I was at a loss what course to 
pursue. I could not endure the thought of killing him, 
yet it seemed absolutely necessary for my own safety. 
I could distinctly perceive his eyes fastened upon me 
with an expression of the most deadly animosity, and I 
expected every instant that he would attack me. At 
last I could endure my terrible situation no longer, and 
determined to make my way from the box at all hazards, 
and despatch him, if his opposition should render it ne 
cessary for me to do so. To get out, I had to pass di 
rectly over his body, and he already seemed to anticipate 
my design raising himself upon his fore legs (as I per 
ceived by the altered position of his eyes), and display 
ing the whole of his white fangs, which were easily dis 
cernible. I took the remains of the ham-skin, and the 
bottle containing the liqueur, and secured them about 



A. GORDON PYM. 41 

my person, together with a large carving-knife which 
Augustus had left me then, folding my cloak as closely 
around me as possible, I made a movement towards the 
mouth of the box. No sooner did I do this than the dog 
sprang with a loud growl towards my throat. The 
whole weight of his body struck me on the right shoul 
der, and I fell violently to the left, while the enraged 
animal passed entirely over me. I had fallen upon my 
knees, with my head buried among the blankets, and 
these protected me from a second furious assault, during 
which I felt the sharp teeth pressing vigorously upon 
the woollen which enveloped my neck yet, luckily, 
without being able to penetrate all the folds. I was 
now beneath the dog, and a few moments would place 
me completely in his power. Despair gave me strength, 
and I rose bodily up, shaking him from me by main 
force, and dragging with me the blankets from the mat 
tress. These I now threw over him, and before he 
could extricate himself I had got through the door and 
closed it effectually against his pursuit. In this strug 
gle, however, I had been forced to drop the morsel of 
ham-skin, and I now found my whole stock of provis 
ions reduced to a single gill of liqueur. As this reflec 
tion crossed my mind, I felt myself actuated by one of 
those fits of perverseness which might be supposed to 
influence a spoiled child in similar circumstances, and, 
raising the bottle to my lips, I drained it to the last drop, 
and dashed it furiously upon the floor. 

Scarcely had the echo of the crash died away, when 
I heard my name pronounced in an eager but subdued 
voice, issuing from the direction of the steerage. So 
unexpected was anything of the kind, and so intense 
was the emotion excited within me by the sound, that I 
endeavoured in vain to reply. My powers of speech to 
tally failed, and, in an agony of terror lest my friend 
should conclude me dead, and return without attempting 
to reach me, I stood up between the crates near the door 
of the box, trembling convulsively, and gasping and 
struggling for utterance. Had a thousand worlds de 
pended upon a syllable, I could not have spoken it. 
D2 



42 NARRATIVE OF 

There was a slight movement now audible among the 
lumber somewhere forward of my station. The sound 
presently grew less distinct, then again less so, and still 
less. Shall I ever forget my feelings at this moment 1 
He was going my friend my companion, from whom 
I had a right to expect so much he was going he 
would abandon me he was gone ! He would leave me 
to perish miserably, to expire in the most horrible and 
loathsome of dungeons and one word one little sylla 
ble would save me yet that single syllable I could not 
utter ! I felt, I am sure, more than ten thousand times 
the agonies of death itself. My brain reeled, and I fell, 
.deadly sick, against the end of the box. 

As I fell, the carving-knife was shaken out from the 
waistband of my pantaloons, and dropped with a rattling 
sound to the floor. Never did any strain of the richest 
melody come so sweetly to my ears ! With the intensest 
anxiety I listened to ascertain the effect of the noise 
upon Augustus for I knew that the person who called 
my name could be no one but himself. All was silent 
for some moments. At length I again heard the word 
Arthur ! repeated in a low tone, and one full of hesita 
tion. Reviving hope loosened at once my powers of 
speech, and I now screamed, at the top of my voice, 
*' Augustus ! oh Augustus /" " Hush for God's sake 
be silent !" he replied, in a voice trembling with agita 
tion ; " I will be with you immediately as soon as I can 
make my way through the hold." For a long time I 
heard him moving among the lumber, and every moment 
seemed to me an age. At length I felt his hand upon 
my shoulder, and he placed at the same moment a bottle 
of water to my lips. Those only who have been sud 
denly redeemed from the jaws of the tomb, or who have 
known the insufferable torments of thirst under circum 
stances as aggravated as those which encompassed me 
in my dreary prison, can form any idea of the unuttera 
ble transports which that one long draught of the richest 
of all physical luxuries afforded. 

When I had in some degree satisfied my thirst, Au 
gustus produced from his pocket three or four cold 



A, GORDON PYM. 43 

boiled potatoes, which I devoured with the greatest avid 
ity. He had brought with him a light in a dark lantern, 
and the grateful rays afforded me scarcely less comfort 
than the food and drink. But I was impatient to learn 
the cause of his protracted absence, and he proceeded 
to recount what had happened on board during my incar 
ceration. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE brig put to sea, as I had supposed, in about an 
hour after he had left the watch. This was on the 
twentieth of June. It will be remembered that I had 
then been in the hold for three days ; and, during this 
period, there was so constant a bustle on board, and so 
much running to and fro, especially in the cabin and 
staterooms, that he had had no chance of visiting me 
without the risk of having the secret of the trap discov 
ered. When at length he did come, I had assured him 
that I was doing as well as possible ; and, therefore, for 
the two next days he felt but little uneasiness on my ac 
count still, however, watching an opportunity of going 
down. It was not until the fourth day that he found 
one. Several times during this interval he had made up 
his mind to let his father know of the adventure, and 
have me come up at once ; but we were still within 
reaching distance of Nantucket, and it was doubtful, 
from some expressions which had escaped Captain Bar 
nard, whether he would riot immediately put back if he 
discovered me to be on board. Besides, upon thinking 
the matter over, Augustus, so he told me, could not im 
agine that I was in immediate want, or that I would hesi 
tate, in such case, to make myself heard at the trap. 
When, therefore, he considered everything, he concluded 
to let me stay until he could meet with an opportunity 
of visiting me unobserved. This, as I said before, did 



44 NARRATIVE OF 

not occur until the fourth day after his bringing me the 
watch, and the seventh since I had first entered the 
hold. He then went down without taking with him any 
water or provisions, intending in the first place merely 
to call my attention, and get me to come from the box 
to the trap when he would go up to the stateroom and 
thence hand me down a supply. When he descended 
for this purpose he found that I was asleep, for it seems 
that I was snoring very loudly. From all the calcula 
tions I can make on the subject, this must have been 
the slumber into which I fell just after my return from 
the trap with the watch, and which, consequently, must 
have lasted for more than three entire days and nights at 
the very least. Latterly, I have had reason, both from 
my own experience and the assurance of others, to be 
acquainted with the strong soporific effects of the stench 
arising from old fish-oil when closely confined ; and 
when I think of the condition of the hold in which I 
was imprisoned, and the long period during which the 
brig had been used as a whaling vessel, I am more in 
clined to wonder that I awoke at all, after once falling 
asleep, than that I should have slept uninterruptedly for 
the period specified above. 

Augustus called to me at first in a low voice and 
without closing the trap but I made him no reply. 
He then shut the trap, and spoke to me in a louder, and 
finally in a very loud tone still I continued to snore. 
He was now at a loss what to do. It would take him 
some time to make his way through the lumber to my 
box, and in the mean while his absence would be noticed 
by Captain Barnard, who had occasion for his services 
every minute, in arranging and copying papers connected 
with the business of the voyage. He determined, there 
fore, upon reflection, to ascend, and await another oppor 
tunity of visiting me. He was the more easily induced 
to this resolve, as my slumber appeared to be of the most 
tranquil nature, and he could not suppose that I had 
undergone any inconvenience from my incarceration. Ho 
had just made up his mind on these points when his at 
tention was arrested by an unusual bustle, the sound of 



A. GORDON PYM. 45 

which proceeded apparently from the cabin. He sprang 
through the trap as quickly as possible, closed it, and 
threw open the door of his stateroom. No sooner had 
he put his foot over the threshold than a pistol flashed 
in his face, and he was knocked down, at the same mdf- 
ment, by a blow from a handspike. 

A strong hand held him on the cabin floor, with a 
tight grasp upon his throat still he was able to see 
what was going on around him. His father was tied 
hand and foot, and lying along the steps of the compan 
ion-way with his head down, and a deep wound in the 
forehead, from which the blood was flowing in a contin 
ued stream. He spoke not a word, and was apparently 
dying. Over him stood the first mate, eying him with 
an expression of fiendish derision, and deliberately 
searching his pockets, from which he presently drew 
forth a large wallet and a chronometer. Seven of the 
crew (among whom was the cook, a negro) were rum 
maging the staterooms on the larboard for arms, where 
they soon equipped themselves with muskets and ammu 
nition. Besides Augustus and Captain Barnard, there 
were nine men altogether in the cabin, and these among 
the most ruffianly of the brig's company. The villains 
now went upon deck, taking my friend with them, after 
having secured his arms behind his back. They pro 
ceeded straight to the forecastle, which was fastened 
down two of the mutineers standing by it with axes 
two also at the main hatch. The mate called out in a 
loud voice, " Do you hear there below ] tumble up with 
you one by one, now, mark that and no grumbling." 
It was some minutes before any one appeared : at last 
an Englishman, who had shipped as a raw hand, came 
up, weeping piteously. and entreating the mate in the 
most humble manner to spare his life. The only reply 
was a blow on the forehead from an axe. The poor 
fellow fell to the deck without a groan, and the black 
cook lifted him up in his arms as he would a child, and 
tossed him deliberately into the sea. Hearing the blow 
and the plunge of the body, the men below could now be 
induced to venture on deck neither by threats nor prom- 



46 NARRATIVE OF 

ises, until a proposition was made to smoke them out. 
A general rush then ensued, and for a moment it seemed 
possible that the brig might be retaken. The mutineers, 
however, succeeded at last in closing the forecastle ef 
fectually before more than six of their opponents could 
get up. These six, finding themselves so greatly out 
numbered and without arms, submitted after a brief 
struggle. The mate gave them fair words no doubt 
with a view of inducing those below to yield, for they had 
no difficulty in hearing all that was said on deck. The 
result proved his sagacity, no less than his diabolical vil- 
lany. All in the forecastle presently signified their in 
tention of submitting, and, ascending one by one, were 
pinioned and thrown on their backs together with the 
first six there being in all, of the crew who were not 
concerned in the mutiny, twenty-seven. 

A scene of the most horrible butchery ensued. The 
bound seamen were dragged to the gangway. Here the 
cook stood with an axe, striking each victim on the head 
as he was forced over the side of the vessel by the other 
mutineers. In this manner twenty-two perished, and 
Augustus had given himself up for lost, expecting every 
moment his own turn to come next. But it seemed that 
the villains were now either weary, or in some measure 
disgusted with their bloody labour ; for the four remain 
ing prisoners, together with my friend, who had been 
thrown on the deck with the rest, were respited while 
the mate sent below for rum, and the whole murderous 
party held a drunken carouse, which lasted until sunset. 
They now fell to disputing in regard to the fate of the 
survivers, who lay not more than four paces off, and 
could distinguish every word said. Upon some of the 
mutineers the liquor appeared to have a softening effect, 
for several voices were heard in favour of releasing the 
captives altogether, on condition of joining the mutiny 
and sharing the profits. The black cook, however (who 
in all respects was a perfect demon, and who seemed to 
exert as much influence, if not more, than the mate him 
self), would listen to no proposition of the kind, and 
rose repeatedly for the purpose of resuming his work at 



A. GORDON PYM. 47 

the gangway. Fortunately, he was so far overcome by 
intoxication as to be easily restrained by the less blood 
thirsty of the party, among whom was a line-manager, 
who went by the name of Dirk Peters. This man was 
the son of an Indian squaw of the tribe of Upsarokas, who 
live among the fastnesses of the Black Hills near the 
source of the Missouri. His father was a fur-trader, I 
believe, or at least connected in some manner with the 
Indian trading-posts on Lewis river. Peters himself 
was one of the most purely ferocious-looking men I ever 
beheld. He was short in stature not more than four 
feet eight inches high but his limbs were of the most 
Herculean mould. His hands, especially, were so enor 
mously thick and broad as hardly to retain a human 
shape. His arms, as well as legs, were bowed in the 
most singular manner, and appeared to possess no flexi 
bility whatever. His head was equally deformed, being 
of immense size, with an indentation on the crown (like 
that on the head of most negroes), and entirely bald. 
To conceal this latter deficiency, which did not proceed 
from old age, he usually wore a wig formed of any hair- 
like material which presented itself occasionally the 
skin of a Spanish dog or American grizzly bear. At 
the time spoken of he had on a portion of one of these 
bearskins ; and it added no little to the natural ferocity 
of his countenance, which betook of the Upsaroka char 
acter. The mouth extended nearly from ear to ear ; the 
lips were thin, and seemed, like some other portions of 
his frame, to be devoid of natural pliancy, so that the 
ruling expression never varied under the influence of 
any emotion whatever. This ruling expression may be 
conceived when it is considered that the teeth were ex 
ceedingly long and protruding, and never even partially 
covered, in any instance, by the lips. To pass this man 
with a casual glance, one might imagine him to be con 
vulsed with laughter but a second look would induce a 
shuddering acknowledgment, that if such an expression 
were indicative of merriment, the merriment must be that 
of a demon. Of this singular being many anecdotes 
were prevalent among the seafaring men of Nantucket. 



48 NARRATIVE OF 

These anecdotes went to prove his prodigious strength 
when under excitement, and some of them had given 
rise to a doubt of his sanity. But on board the Gram 
pus, it seems, he was regarded at the time of the mutiny 
with feelings more of derision than of anything else. I 
have been thus particular in speaking of Dirk Peters, 
because, ferocious as he appeared, he proved the main 
instrument in preserving the life of Augustus, and be 
cause I shall have frequent occasion to mention him 
hereafter in the course of my narrative a narrative, let 
me here say, which, in its latter portions, will be found 
to include incidents of a nature so entirely out of the 
range of human experience, and for this reason so far 
beyond the limits of human credulity, that 1 proceed in 
utter hopelessness of obtaining credence for all that 1 
shall tell, yet confidently trusting in time and progres 
sing science to verify some of the most important and 
most improbable of my statements. 

After much indecision and two or three violent quar 
rels, it was determined at last that all the prisoners 
(with the exception of Augustus, whom Peters insisted 
in a jocular manner upon keeping as bis clerk) should 
be set adrift in one of the smallest whaleboats. The 
mate went down into the cabin to see if Captain Bar 
nard was still living for, it will be remembered, he was 
left below when the mutineers came up. Presently the 
two made their appearance, the captain pale as death, 
but somewhat recovered from the effects of his wound. 
He spoke to the men in a voice hardly articulate, en 
treated them not to set him adrift, but to return to their 
duty, and promising to land them wherever they chose, 
and to take no steps for bringing them to justice. He 
might as well have spoken to the winds. Two of the 
ruffians seized him by the arms and hurled him over the 
brig's side into the boat, which had been lowered while 
the mate went below. The four men who were lying 
on the deck were then untied and ordered to follow, 
which they did without attempting any resistance Au 
gustus being still left in his painful position, although he 
struggled artd prayed only for the poor satisfaction of 



A. GORDON PYM. 49 

being permitted to bid his father farewell. A handful of 
sea-biscuit and a jug of water were now handed down ; 
but neither mast, sail, oar, nor compass. The boat was 
towed astern for a few minutes, during which the muti 
neers held another consultation it was then finally cut 
adrift. By this time night had come on there were 
neither moon nor stars visible and a short and ugly sea 
was running, although there was no great deal of wind. 
The boat was instantly out of sight, and little hope 
could be entertained for the unfortunate sufferers who 
were in it. This event happened, however, in latitude 
35 30' north, longitude 61 20' west, and consequently 
at no very great distance from the Bermuda Islands. 
Augustus therefore endeavoured to console himself with 
the idea that the boat might either* succeed in reaching 
the land, or come sufficiently near to be fallen in with by 
vessels off the coast. 

All sail was now put upon the brig, and she continued 
her original course to the southwest the mutineers 
being bent upon some piratical expedition, in which, 
from all that could be understood, a ship was to be inter 
cepted on her way from the Cape Verd Islands to Porto 
Rico. No attention was paid to Augustus, who was 
untied and suffered to go about anywhere forward of the 
cabin companion-way. Dirk Peters treated him with some 
degree of kindness, and on one occasion saved him from 
the brutality of the cook. His situation was still one of 
the most precarious, as the men were continually intoxi 
cated, and there was no relying upon their continued 
good-humour or carelessness in regard to himself. His 
anxiety on my account he represented, however, as the 
most distressing result of his condition ; and, indeed, I 
had never reason to doubt the sincerity of his friendship. 
More than once he had resolved to acquaint the muti 
neers with the secret of my being on board, but was re 
strained from so doing, partly through recollection of the 
atrocities he had already beheld, and partly through a 
hope of being able soon to bring me relief. For the 
latter purpose he was constantly on the watch ; but, in 
spite of the most constant vigilance, three days elapsed 
E 



50 NARRATIVE OF 

after the boat was cut adrift before any chance occurred. 
At length, on the night of the third day, there came on a 
heavy blow from the eastward, and all hands were called 
up to take in sail. During the confusion which ensued, 
he made his way below unobserved, and into the state 
room. What was his grief and horror in discovering 
that the latter had been rendered a place of deposite for 
a variety of sea-stores and ship-furniture, and that sev 
eral fathoms of old chain-cable, which had been stowed 
away beneath the companion-ladder, had been dragged 
thence to make room for a chest, and were now lying im 
mediately upon the trap ! To remove it without discov 
ery was impossible, and he returned on deck as quickly 
as he could. As he came up the mate seized him by 
the throat, and demanding what he had been doing in 
the cabin, was about flinging him over the larboard bul 
wark, when his life was again preserved through the in 
terference of Dirk Peters. Augustus was now put in 
handcuffs (of which there were several pairs on board), 
and his feet lashed tightly together. He was then 
taken into the steerage, and thrown into a lower berth 
next to the forecastle bulkheads, with the assurance 
that he should never put his foot on deck again " until 
the brig was no longer a brig." This was the ex 
pression of the cook, who threw him into the berth 
it is hardly possible to say what precise meaning was 
intended by the phrase. The whole affair, however, 
proved the ultimate means of my relief, as will presently 
appear. 



A. GORDON PYM. 51 



CHAPTER V. 

FOR some minutes after the cook had left the fore 
castle, Augustus abandoned himself to despair, never 
hoping to leave the berth alive. He now came to the 
resolution of acquainting the first of the men who should 
come down with my situation, thinking it better to let 
me take my chance with the mutineers than perish of 
thirst in the hold for it had been ten days since I was 
first imprisoned, and my jug of water was not a plentiful 
supply even for four. As he was thinking on this sub 
ject, the idea came all at once into his head that it might 
be possible to communicate with me by the way of the 
main hold. In any other circumstances, the difficulty 
and hazard of the undertaking would have prevented 
him from attempting it ; but now he had, at all events, 
little prospect of life, and consequently little to lose he 
bent his whole mind, therefore, upon the task. 

His handcuffs were the first consideration. At first 
he saw no method of removing them, and feared that he 
should thus be baffled in the very outset ; but, upon a 
closer scrutiny, he discovered that the irons could be 
slipped off and on at pleasure with very little effort or 
inconvenience, merely by squeezing his hands through 
them this species of manacle being altogether ineffect 
ual in confining young persons, in whom the smaller 
bones readily yield to pressure. He now untied his 
feet, and, leaving the cord in such a manner that it 
could easily be readjusted in the event of any person's 
coming down, proceeded to examine the bulkhead where 
it joined the berth. The partition here was of soft pine 
board, an inch thick, and he saw that he should have 
little trouble in cutting his way through. A voice was 
now heard at the forecastle companion-way, and he 
had just time to put his right hand into its handcuff (the 
left had not been removed), and to draw the rope in a 



52 NARRATIVE OF 

slipknot around his ankle, when Dirk Peters came be 
low, followed by Tiger, who immediately leaped into the 
berth and lay down. The dog had been brought on 
board by Augustus, who knew my attachment to the an 
imal, and thought it would give me pleasure to have him 
with me during the voyage. He went up to our house 
for him immediately after first taking me into the hold, 
but did not think of mentioning the circumstance upon 
his bringing the watch. Since the mutiny, Augustus 
had not seen him before his appearance with Dirk Peters, 
and had given him up for lost, supposing him to have 
been thrown overboard by some of the malignant villains 
belonging to the mate's gang. It appeared afterward 
that he had crawled into a hole beneath a whaleboat, 
from which, not having room to turn round, he could not 
extricate himself. Peters at last let him out, and with 
a species of good feeling which my friend knew well 
how to appreciate, had now brought him to him in the 
forecastle as a companion, leaving at the same time 
some salt junk and potatoes, with a can of water ; he then 
went on deck, promising to come down with something 
more to eat on the next day. , 

When he had gone, Augustus freed both hands from 
the manacles and unfastened his feet. He then turned 
down the head of the mattress on which he had been ly 
ing, and with his penknife (for the ruffians had not thought 
it worth while to search him) commenced cutting vigor 
ously across one of the partition planks, as closely as 
possible to the floor of the berth. He chose to cut here, 
because, if suddenly interrupted, he would be able to con 
ceal what had been done by letting the head of the mat 
tress fall into its proper position. For the remainder of 
the day, however, no disturbance occurred, and by night 
he had completely divided the plank. It should here be 
observed, that none of the crew occupied the forecastle 
as a sleeping-place, living altogether in the cabin since 
the mutiny, drinking the wines, and feasting on the sea- 
stores of Captain Barnard, and giving no more heed than 
was absolutely necessary to the navigation of the brig. 
These circumstances proved fortunate both for myself 



A, GORDON PYM, 63 

and Augustus ; for, had matters been otherwise, he would 
have found it impossible to reach me. As it was, he 
proceeded with confidence in his design. It was near 
daybreak, however, before he completed the second di 
vision of the board (which was about a foot above the 
first cutj, thus making an aperture quite large enough to 
admit his passage through with facility to the main orlop 
deck. Having got here, he made his way with but little 
trouble to the lower main hatch, although in so doing he 
had to scramble over tiers of oil-casks piled nearly as 
high as the upper deck, there being barely room enough 
left for his body. Upon reaching the hatch, he found 
that Tiger had followed him below, squeezing between 
two rows of the casks. It was now too late, however, 
to attempt geting to me before dawn, as the chief diffi 
culty lay in passing through the close stowage in the 
lower hold. He therefore resolved to return, and wait 
till the next night. With this design he proceeded to 
loosen the hatch, so that he might have as little detention 
as possible when he should come again. No sooner 
had he loosened it than Tiger sprang eagerly to the 
small opening produced, snuffed for a moment, and then 
uttered a long whine, scratching at the same time, as if 
anxious to remove the covering with his paws. There 
could be no doubt, from his behaviour, that he was 
aware of my being in the hold, and Augustus thought it 
possible that he would be able to get to me if he put him 
down. He now hit upon the expedient of sending the 
note, as it was especially desirable that I should make 
no attempt at forcing my way out, at least under ex 
isting circumstances, and there could be no certainty of 
his getting to me himself on the morrow as he intended. 
After events proved how fortunate it was that the idea 
occurred to him as it did : for, had it not been for the 
receipt of the note, I should undoubtedly have fallen 
upon some plan, however desperate, of alarming the 
crew, and both our lives would most probably have been 
sacrificed in consequence. 

Having concluded to write, the difficulty was now to 
procure the materials for so doing. An old toothpick 
E 2 



54 NARRATIVE OF 

was soon made into a pen ; and this by means of feeling 
altogether, for the between-decks were as dark as pitch. 
Paper enough was obtained from the back of a letter 
a duplicate of the forged letter from Mr. Ross. This 
had been the original draught ; but the handwriting not 
being sufficiently well imitated, Augustus had written 
another, thrusting the first, by good fortune, into his 
coat-pocket, where it was now, most opportunely discov 
ered. Ink alone was thus wanting, and a substitute 
was immediately found for this by means of a slight in 
cision with the penknife on the back of a finger just 
above the nail a copious flow of blood ensuing, as 
usual from wounds in that vicinity. The note was now 
written, as well as it could be in the dark and under the 
circumstances. It briefly explained that a mutiny had 
taken place ; that Captain Barnard was set adrift ; and 
that I might expect immediate relief as far as provisions 
were concerned, but must not venture upon making any 
disturbance. It concluded with these words, " / have 
scrawled this with blood your life depends upon lying 
dose." 

The slip of paper being tied upon tfie dog, he was 
now put down the hatchway, and Augustus made the 
best of his way back to the forecastle, where he found 
no reason to believe that any of the crew had been in 
his absence. To conceal the hole in the partition, he 
drove his knife in just above it, and hung up a pea-jacket 
which he found in the berth. His handcuffs were then 
replaced, and also the rope around his ankles. 

These arrangements were scarcely completed when 
Dirk Peters came below, very drunk, but in excellent 
humour, and bringing with him my friend's allowance of 
provision for the day. This consisted of a dozen large 
Irish potatoes roasted, and a pitcher of water. He sat 
for some time on a chest by the berth, and talked freely 
about the mate, and the general concerns of the brig. 
His demeanour was exceedingly capricious and even 
grotesque. At one time Augustus was much alarmed by 
his odd conduct. At last, however, he went on deck, 
muttering a promise to bring his prisoner a good dinner 



A. GORDON PYM. 55 

on the morrow. During the day two of the crew (har- 
pooners) came down, accompanied by the cook, all three 
in nearly the last stage of intoxication. Like Peters, 
they made no scruple of talking unreservedly about their 
plans. It appeared that they were much divided among 
themselves as to their ultimate course, agreeing in no 
point except the attack on the ship from the Cape Verd 
Islands, with which they were in hourly expectation of 
meeting. As far as could be ascertained, the mutiny 
had not been brought about altogether for the sake of 
booty ; a private pique of the chief mate's against Cap 
tain Barnard having been the main instigation. There 
now seemed to be two principal factions among the crew 
one headed by the mate, the other by the cook. The 
former party were for seizing the first suitable vessel 
which should present itself, and equipping it at some of 
the West India Islands for a piratical cruise. The latter 
division, however, which was the stronger, and included 
Dirk Peters among its partisans, were bent upon pursu 
ing the course originally laid out for the brig into the 
South Pacific ; there either to take whale, or act other 
wise, as circumstances should suggest. The represent 
ations of Peters, who had frequently visited these re 
gions, had great weight, apparently, with the mutineers, 
wavering as they were between half-engendered notions 
of profit and pleasure. He dwelt on the world of nov 
elty and amusement to be found among the innumerable 
islands of the Pacific, on the perfect security and freedom 
from all restraint to be enjoyed, but, more particularly, 
on the deliciousness of the climate, on the abundant 
means of good living, and on the voluptuous beauty of 
the women. As yet, nothing had been absolutely deter 
mined upon ; but the pictures of the hybrid line-manager 
were taking strong hold upon the ardent imaginations of 
the seamen, and there was every probability that his in 
tentions would be finally carried into effect. 

The three men went away in about an hour, and no 
one else entered the forecastle all day. Augustus lay 
quiet until nearly night. He then freed himself from 
the rope and irons, and prepared for his attempt. A 



56 NARRATIVE OF 

bottle was found in one of the berths, and this he filled 
with water from the pitcher left by Peters, storing his 
pockets at the same time with cold potatoes. To his 
great joy he also came across a lantern, with a small 
piece of tallow candle in it. This he could light at any 
moment, as he had in his possession a box of phosphorus 
matches. When it was quite dark, he got through the 
hole in the bulkhead, having taken the precaution to ar 
range the bedclothes in the berth so as to convey the 
idea of a person covered up. When through, he hung 
up the pea-jacket on his knife, as before, to conceal the 
aperture this manoeuvre being easily effected, as he did 
not readjust the piece of plank taken out until afterward. 
He was now on the main orlop deck, and proceeded to 
make his way, as before, between the upper deck and 
the oil-casks to the main hatchway. Having reached 
this, he lit the piece of candle, and descended, groping 
with extreme difficulty among the compact stowage of 
the hold. In a few moments he became alarmed at the 
insufferable stench and the closeness of the atmosphere. 
He could not think it possible that I had survived my 
confinement for so long a period breathing so oppressive 
an air. He called my name repeatedly, but I made him 
no reply, and his apprehensions seemed thus to be con 
firmed. The brig was rolling violently, and there was 
so much noise in consequence, that it was useless to 
listen for any weak sound, such as those of my breathing 
or snoring. He threw open the lantern, and held it as high 
as possible, whenever an opportunity occurred, in order 
that, by observing the light, I might, if alive, be aware that 
succour was approaching. Still nothing was heard from 
me, and the supposition of my death began to assume 
the character of certainty. He determined, nevertheless, 
to force a passage, if possible, to the box, and at least 
ascertain beyond a doubt the truth of his surmises. He 
pushed on for some time in a most pitiable state of anx 
iety, until, at length, he found the pathway utterly 
blocked up, and that there was no possibility of making 
any farther way by the course in which he had set out. 
Overcome now by his feelings, he threw himself among 



A. GORDON PYM. 57 

the lumber in despair, and wept like a child. It was at 
this period that he heard the crash occasioned by the 
bottle which I had thrown down. Fortunate, indeed, 
was it that the incident occurred for, upon this incident, 
trivial as it appears, the thread of my destiny depended. 
Many years elapsed, however, before I was aware of 
this fact. A natural shame and regret for his weakness 
and indecision prevented Augustus from confiding to me 
at once what a more intimate and unreserved commu 
nion afterward induced him to reveal. Upon finding his 
further progress in the hold impeded by obstacles which 
he could not overcome, he had resolved to abandon his 
attempt at reaching me, and return at once to the fore 
castle. Before condemning him entirely on this head, 
the harassing circumstances which embarrassed him 
should be taken into consideration. The night was fast 
wearing away, and his absence from the forecastle might 
be discovered ; and, indeed, would necessarily be so, if 
he should fail to get back to the berth by daybreak. 
His candle was expiring in the socket, and there would 
be the greatest difficulty in retracing his way to the 
hatchway in the dark. It must be allowed, too, that he 
had every good reason to believe me dead ; in which 
event no benefit could result to me from his reaching 
the box, and a world of danger would be encountered to 
no purpose by himself. He had repeatedly called, and I 
had made him no answer. I had been now eleven days 
and nights with no more water than that contained in the 
jug which he had left with me, a supply which it was 
not at all probable I had hoarded in the beginning of my 
confinement, as I had had every cause to expect a 
speedy release. The atmosphere of the hold, too, must 
have appeared to him, coming from the comparatively 
open air of the steerage, of a nature absolutely poison 
ous, and by far more intolerable than it had seemed to 
me upon my first taking up my quarters in the box the 
hatchways at that time having been constantly open for 
many months previous. Add to these considerations 
that of the scene of bloodshed and terror so lately wit 
nessed by my friend ; his confinement, privations, and 



58 NARRATIVE OF 

narrow escapes from death ; together with the frail and 
equivocal tenure by which he still existed circumstan 
ces all so well calculated to prostrate every energy of 
mind and the reader will be easily brought, as I have 
been, to regard his apparent falling off in friendship and 
in faith with sentiments rather of sorrow than of anger. 

The crash of the bottle was distinctly heard, yet Au 
gustus was not sure that it proceeded from the hold. 
The doubt, however, was sufficient inducement to perse 
vere. He clambered up nearly to the orlop deck by 
means of the stowage, and then watching for a lull in 
the pitchings of the vessel, he called out to me in as 
loud a tone as he could command regardless, for the 
moment, of the danger of being overheard by the crew. 
It will be remembered that on this occasion the voice 
reached me, but I was so entirely overcome by violent 
agitation as to be incapable of reply. Confident, now, 
that his worst apprehensions were well founded, he de 
scended, with a view of getting back to the forecastle 
without loss of time. In his haste some small boxes 
were thrown down, the noise occasioned by which I 
heard, as will be recollected. He had made considera 
ble progress on his return when the fall of the knife 
again caused him to hesitate. He retraced his steps im 
mediately, and, clambering up the stowage a second 
time, called out my name, loudly as before, having 
watched for a lull. This time I found voice to answer. 
Overjoyed at discovering me to be still alive, he now re 
solved to brave every difficulty and danger in reaching 
me. Having extricated himself as quickly as possible 
from the labyrinth of lumber by which he was hemmed 
in, he at length struck into an opening which promised 
better, and finally, after a series of struggles, arrived at 
the box in a state of utter exhaustion. 



A. GORDON PYM. 59 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE leading particulars of this narration were all that 
Augustus communicated to me while we remained near 
the box. It was not until afterward that he entered 
fully into all the details. He was apprehensive of being 
missed, and I was wild with impatience to leave my de 
tested place of confinement. We resolved to make our 
way at once to the hole in the bulkhead, near which I 
was to remain for the present, while he went through to 
reconnoitre. To leave Tiger in the box was what 
neither of us could endure to think of; yet, how to act 
otherwise was the question. He now seemed to be 
perfectly quiet, and we could not even distinguish the 
sound of his breathing upon applying our ears closely to 
the box. I was convinced that he was dead, and deter 
mined to open the door. We found him lying at full 
length, apparently in a deep stupor, yet still alive. No 
time was to be lost, yet I could not bring myself to 
abandon an animal who had now been twice instrumen 
tal in saving my life, without some attempt at preser 
ving him. We therefore dragged him along with us as 
well as we could, although with the greatest difficulty 
and fatigue ; Augustus, during part of the time, being 
forced to clamber over the impediments in our way with 
the huge dog in his arms a feat to which the feebleness 
of my frame rendered me totally inadequate. At length 
we succeeded in reaching the hole, when Augustus got 
through, and Tiger was pushed in afterward. All was 
found to be safe, and we did not fail to return sincere 
thanks to God for our deliverance from the imminent 
danger we had escaped. For the present it was agreed 
that I should remain near the opening, through which 
my companion could readily supply me with a part of 
his daily provision, and where I could have the advan 
tages of breathing an atmosphere comparatively pure. 



60 



NARRATIVE OF 



In explanation of some portions of this narrative 
wherein I have spoken of the stowage of the brig, and 
which may appear ambiguous to some of my readers 
who may have seen a proper or regular stowage, I must 
here state that the manner in which this most important 
duty had been performed on board the Grampus was a 
most shameful piece of neglect on the part of Captain 
Barnard, who was by no means as careful or as experi 
enced a seaman as the hazardous nature of the service 
on which he was employed would seem necessarily to 
demand. A proper stowage cannot be accomplished in 
a careless manner, and many most disastrous accidents, 
even within the limits of my own experience, have arisen 
from neglect or ignorance in this particular. Coasting 
vessels, in the frequent hurry and bustle attendant upon 
taking in or discharging cargo, are the most liable to 
mishap from the want of a proper attention to stowage. 
The great point is to allow no possibility of the cargo or 
ballast's shifting position even in the most violent rollings 
of the vessel. With this end, great attention must be 
paid, not only to the bulk taken in, but to the nature of 
the bulk, and whether there be a full or only a partial 
cargo. In most kinds of freight the stowage is accom 
plished by means of a screw. Thus, in a load of to 
bacco or flour, the whole is screwed so tightly into the 
hold of the vessel that the barrels or hogsheads upon 
discharging are found to be completely flattened, and 
take some time to regain their original shape. This 
screwing, however, is resorted to principally with a view 
of obtaining more room in the hold ; for in a full load of 
any such commodities as flour or tobacco, there can be 
no danger of any shifting whatever, at least none from 
which inconvenience can result. There have been in 
stances, indeed, where this method of screwing has re 
sulted in the most lamentable consequences, arising from 
a cause altogether distinct from the danger attendant 
upon a shifting of cargo. A load of cotton, for ex 
ample, tightly screwed while in certain conditions, has 
been known, through the expansion of its bulk, to rend 
a vessel asunder at sea. There can be no doubt, either, 



A. GORDON PYM. 61 

that the same result would ensue in the case of tobacco, 
while undergoing its usual course of fermentation, were 
it not for the interstices consequent upon the rotundity of 
the hogsheads. 

It is when a partial cargo is received that danger is 
chiefly to be apprehended from shifting, and that precau 
tions should be always taken to guard against such mis 
fortune. Only those who have encountered a violent 
gale of wind, or, rather, who have experienced the rolling 
of a vessel in a sudden calm after the gale, can form an 
idea of the tremendous force of the plunges, and of the 
consequent terrible impetus given to all loose articles in 
the vessel. It is then that the necessity of a cautious 
stowage, when there is a partial cargo, becomes obvious. 
When lying to (especially with a small head sail), a 
vessel which is not properly modelled in the bows is 
frequently thrown upon her beam-ends ; this occurring 
even every fifteen or twenty minutes upon an average, 
yet without any serious consequences resulting, provided 
there "be a proper stowage. If this, however, has not 
been strictly attended to, in the first of these heavy 
lurches the whole of the cargo tumbles over to the side 
of the vessel which lies upon the water, and, being thus 
prevented from regaining her equilibrium, as she would 
otherwise necessarily do, she is certain to fill in a few 
seconds and go down. It is* not too much to say that 
at least one half of the instances in which vessels have 
foundered in heavy gales at sea may be attributed to a 
shifting of cargo or of ballast. 

When a partial cargo of any kind is taken on board, 
the whole, after being first stowed as compactly as may 
be, should be covered with a layer of stout shifting- 
boards, extending completely across the vessel. Upon 
these boards strong temporary stanchions should be 
erected, reaching to the timbers above, and thus securing 
everything in its place. In cargoes consisting of grain, 
or any similar matter, additional precautions are requi 
site. A hold filled entirely with grain upon leaving 
port will be found not more than three fourths full upon 
leaching its destination this, too, although the freight, 
F 






62 NARRATIVE OF 

when measured bushel by bushel by the consignee, will 
overrun by a vast deal (on account of the swelling of the 
grain) the quantity consigned. This result is occasioned 
by settling during the voyage, and is the more percepti 
ble in proportion to the roughness of the weather expe 
rienced. If grain loosely thrown in a vessel, then, is 
ever so well secured by shifting-boards and stanchions, 
it will be liable to shift in a long passage so greatly as 
to bring about the most distressing calamities. To pre 
vent these, every method should be employed before 
leaving port to settle the cargo as much as possible ; 
and for this there are many contrivances, among which 
may be mentioned the driving of wedges into the grain. 
Even after all this is done, and unusual pains taken to 
secure the shifting-boards, no seaman who knows what 
he is about will feel altogether secure in a gale of any 
violence with a cargo of grain on board, and, least of all, 
with a partial cargo. Yet there are hundreds of our 
coasting vessels, and, it is likely, many more from the 
ports of Europe, which sail daily with partial cargoes, 
even of the most dangerous species, and without any 
precautions whatever. The wonder is that no more ac 
cidents occur than do actually happen. A lamentable 
instance of this heedlessness occurred to my knowledge 
in the case of Captain Joel Rice of the schooner Fire 
fly, which sailed from Richmond, Virginia, to Madeira, 
with a cargo of corn, in the year 1825. The captain 
had gone many voyages without serious accident, al 
though he was in the habit of paying no attention what 
ever to his stowage, more than to secure it in the ordi 
nary manner. He had never before sailed with a cargo 
of grain, and on this occasion had the corn thrown on 
board loosely, when it did not much more than half fill 
the vessel. For the first portion of the voyage he met 
with nothing more than light breezes ; but when within 
a day's sail of Madeira there came on a strong gale 
from the N. N. E. which forced him to lie to. He 
brought the schooner to the wind under a double-reefed 
foresail alone, when she rode as well as any vessel 
could be expected to do, and shipped not a drop of water. 



A. GORDON PYM. 63 

Towards night the gale somewhat abated, and she rolled 
with more unsteadiness than before, but still did very 
we]l, until a heavy lurch threw her upon her beam-ends 
to starboard. The corn was then heard to shift bodily, 
the force of the movement bursting open the main hatch 
way. The vessel went down like a shot. This hap 
pened within hail of a small sloop from Madeira, which 
picked up one of the crew (the only person saved), and 
which rode out the gale in perfect security, as indeed a 
jollyboat might have done under proper management. 

The stowage on board the Grampus was most clumsily 
done, if stowage that could be called which was little 
better than a promiscuous huddling together of oil-casks* 
and ship furniture. I have already spoken of the condi 
tion of articles in the hold. On the orlop deck there 
was space enough for my body (as I have stated) be 
tween the oil-casks and the upper deck ; a space was 
left open around the main hatchway ; and several other 
large spaces were left in the stowage. Near the hole 
cut through the bulkhead by Augustus there was room 
enough for an entire cask, and in this space I found 
myself comfortably situated for the present. 

By the time my friend had got safely into the berth, 
and readjusted his handcuffs and the rope, it was broad 
daylight. We had made a narrow escape indeed ; for 
scarcely had he arranged all matters, when the mate 
came below, with Dirk Peters and the cook. They talk 
ed for some time about the vessel from the Cape Verds, and 
seemed to be excessively anxious for her appearance. 
At length the cook came to the berth in which Augustus 
was lying, and seated himself in it near the head. I 
could see and hear everything from my hiding-place, for 
the piece cut out had not been put back, and I was in 
momentary expectation that the negro would fall against 
the pea-jacket, which was hung up to conceal the aper 
ture, in which case all would have been discovered, and 
our lives would, no doubt, have been instantly sacrificed. 
Our good fortune prevailed, however ; and although he 

* Whaling vessels are usually fitted with iron oil-tankswhy the 
Grampus was not I have never been able to ascertain. 



64 NARRATIVE OF 

frequently touched it as the vessel rolled, he never 
pressed against it sufficiently to bring about a discovery. 
The bottom of the jacket had been carefully fastened to 
the bulkhead, so that the hole might not be seen by its 
swinging to one side. All this time Tiger was lying in 
the foot of the berth, and appeared to have recovered in 
some measure his faculties, for I could see him occa 
sionally open his eyes and draw a long breath. 

After a few minutes the mate and cook went above, 
leaving Dirk Peters behind, who, as soon as they were 
gone, came and sat himself down in the place just occu 
pied by the mate. He began to talk very sociably with 
Augustus, and we could now see that the greater part of 
his apparent intoxication, while the two others were with 
him, was a feint. He answered all my companion's 
questions with perfect freedom ; told him that he had no 
doubt of his father's having been picked up, as there 
were no less than five sail in sight just before sundown 
on the day he was cut adrift ; and used other language 
of a consolatory nature, which occasioned me no less 
surprise than pleasure. Indeed, I began to entertain 
hopes, that through the instrumentality of Peters we 
might be finally enabled to regain possession of the brig, 
and this idea I mentioned to Augustus as soon as I 
found an opportunity. He thought the matter possible, 
but urged the necessity of the greatest caution in making 
the attempt, as the conduct of the hybrid appeared to be 
instigated by the most arbitrary caprice alone ; and, in 
deed, it was difficult to say if he was at any moment of 
sound mind. Peters went upon deck in about an hour, 
and did not return again until noon, when he brought 
Augustus a plentiful supply of junk beef and pudding. 
Of this, when we were left alone, I partook heartily, 
without returning through the hole. No one else came 
down into the forecastle during the day, and at night I got 
into Augustus's berth, where I slept soundly and sweetly 
until nearly daybreak, when he awakened me upon hearing 
a stir upon deck, and I regained my hiding-place as quickly 
as possible. When the day was fully broke, we found that 
Tiger had recovered his strength almost entirely, and gave 



A. GORDON PYM. 65 

no indications of hydrophobia, drinking a little water that 
was offered him with great apparent eagerness. During the 
day he regained all his former vigour and appetite. His 
strange conduct had been brought on, no doubt, by the dele 
terious quality of the air of the hold, and had no connexion 
with canine madness. I could not sufficiently rejoice 
that I had persisted in bringing him with me from the 
box. This day was the thirtieth of June, and the thir 
teenth since the Grampus made sail from Nantucket. 

On the second of July the mate came below, drunk as 
usual, and in an excessively good-humour. He came to 
Augustus's berth, and, giving him a slap on the back, 
asked him if he thought he could behave himself if he 
let him loose, and whether he would promise not to be 
going into the cabin again. To this, of course, my friend 
answered in the affirmative, when the ruffian set him at 
liberty, after making him drink from a flask of rum 
which he drew from his coat-pocket. Both now went 
on, deck, and I did not see Augustus for about three 
hours. He then came below with the good news that 
he had obtained permission to go about the brig as he 
pleased anywhere forward of the mainmast, and that he 
had been ordered to sleep, as usual, in the forecastle. 
He brought me, too, a good dinner, and a plentiful supply 
of water. The brig was still cruising for the vessel from 
the Cape Verds, and a sail was now in sight which was 
thought to be the one in question. As the events of the 
ensuing eight days were of little importance, and had no 
direct bearing upon the main incidents of my narrative, I 
will here throw them into the form of a journal, as I do 
not wish to omit them altogether. 

July 3. Augustus furnished me with three blankets, 
with which I contrived a comfortable bed in my hiding- 
place. No one came below, except my companion, du 
ring the day. Tiger took his station in the berth just by 
the aperture, and slept heavily, as if not yet entirely re 
covered from the effects of his sickness. Towards 
night a flaw of wind struck the brig before sail could be 
taken in, and very nearly capsized her. The puff died 
away immediately, however, and no damage was done 
G2 



66 NARRATIVE OF 

beyond the splitting of the foretopsail. Dirk Peters 
treated Augustus all this day with great kindness, and 
entered into a long conversation with him respecting the 
Pacific Ocean, and the islands he had visited in that re 
gion. He asked him whether he would not like to go 
with the mutineers on a kind of exploring and pleasure 
voyage in those quarters, and said that the men were 
gradually coming over to the mate's views. To this 
Augustus thought it best to reply that he would be glad 
to go on such an adventure, since nothing better could be 
done, and that anything was preferable to a piratical 
life. 

July 4th. The vessel in sight proved to be a small 
brig from Liverpool, and was allowed to pass unmolest 
ed. Augustus spent most of his time on deck, with a 
view of obtaining all the information in his power re 
specting the intentions of the mutineers. They had fre 
quent and violent quarrels among themselves, in one of 
which a harpooner, Jim Bonner, was thrown overboard. 
The party of the mate was gaining ground. Jim Bonner 
belonged to the cook's gang, of which Peters was a par 
tisan. , 

Jvly 5th. About daybreak there came on a stiff 
breeze from the west, which at noon freshened into a 
gale, so that the brig could carry nothing more than her 
trysail and foresail. In taking in the foretopsail, Simms, 
one of the common hands, and belonging also to the 
book's gang, fell overboard, being very much in liquor, 
and was drowned no attempt being made to save him. 
The whole number of persons on board was now thir 
teen, to wit : Dirk Peters ; Seymour, the black cook ; 
Jones ; Greely ; Hartman Rogers ; and Will 
iam Allen, of the cook's party ; the mate, whose name 

I never learned ; Absalom Hicks ; Wilson ; John 

Hunt ; and Richard Parker, of the mate's party besides 
Augustus and myself. 

July 6th. The gale lasted all this day, blowing in 
heavy squalls, accompanied with rain. The brig took in 
a good deal of water through her seams, and one of the 
pumps was kept continually going, Augustus being 



A. GORDON PYM. 67 

forced to take his turn. Just at twilight a large ship 
passed close by us, without having been discovered until 
within hail. This ship was supposed to be the one for 
which the mutineers were on the look-out. The mate 
hailed her, but the reply was drowned in the roaring of 
the gale. At eleven, a sea was shipped amid-ships, 
which tore away a great portion of the larboard bul 
warks, and did some other slight damage. Towards 
morning the weather moderated, and at sunrise there 
was very little wind. 

July 7th. There was a heavy swell running all this 
day, during which the brig, being light, rolled exces 
sively, and many articles broke loose in the hold, as I 
could hear distinctly from my hiding-place. I suffered 
a great deal from sea-sickness. Peters had a long con 
versation this day with Augustus, and told him that two 
of his gang, Greely and Allen, had gone over to the 
mate, and were resolved to turn pirates. He put several 
questions to Augustus which he did not then exactly un 
derstand. During a part of this evening the leak gained 
upon the vessel ; and little could be done to remedy it, 
as it was occasioned by the brig's straining, and taking 
in the water through her seams. A sail was thrummed, 
and got under the bows, which aided us in some meas 
ure, so that we began to gain upon the leak. 

July 8th. A light breeze sprung up at sunrise from 
the eastward, when the mate headed the brig to the 
southwest, with the intention of making some of the 
West India islands, in pursuance of his piratical designs. 
No opposition was made by Peters or the cook ; at least 
none in the hearing of Augustus. All idea of taking the 
vessel from the Cape Verds was abandoned. The leak 
was now easily kept under by one pump going every 
three quarters of an hour. The sail was drawn from 
beneath the bows. Spoke two small schooners during 
the day. 

July Qth. Fine weather. All hands employed in re 
pairing bulwarks. Peters had again a long conversation 
with Augustus, and spoke more plainly than he had 
done heretofore. He said nothing should induce him to 



68 NARRATIVE OF 

come into the mate's views, and even hinted his inters 
tion of taking the brig out of his hands. He asked my 
friend if he could depend upon his aid in such case, to 
which Augustus said, " Yes," without hesitation. Pe 
ters then said he would sound the others of his party 
upon the subject, and went away. During the remain 
der of the day Augustus had no opportunity of speaking 
with him privately. 



CHAPTER VII. 

JULY 10. Spoke a brig from Rio, bound to Norfolk, 
Weather hazy, with a light baffling wind from the east 
ward. To-day Hartman Rogers died, having been at 
tacked on the eighth with spasms after drinking a glass 
of grog. This man was of the cook's party, and one 
upon whom Peters placed his main reliance. He told 
Augustus that he believed the mate had poisoned him, 
and that he expected, if he did not be on the look-out, 
his own turn would come shortly. There were now 
only himself, Jones, and the cook belonging to his own 
gang on the other side there were five. He had 
spoken to Jones about taking the command from the 
mate ; but the project having been coolly received, he 
had been deterred from pressing the matter any further, 
or from saying anything to the cook. It was well, as it 
happened, that he was so prudent, for in the afternoon 
the cook expressed his determination of siding with the 
mate, and went over formally to that party ; while 
Jones took an opportunity of quarrelling with Peters, 
and hinted that he would let the mate know of the plan 
in agitation. There was now, evidently, no time to be 
lost, and Peters expressed his determination of attempt 
ing to take the vessel at all hazards, provided Augustus 
would lend him his aid. My friend at once assured him 
of his willingness to enter into any plan for that purpose, 






A. GORDON PYM. 69 



and, thinking the opportunity a favourable one, made known 
the fact of my being on board. At this the hybrid was 
not more astonished than delighted, as he had no reliance 
whatever upon Jones, whom he already considered as 
belonging to the party of the mate. They went below 
immediately, when Augustus called to me by name, and 
Peters and myself were soon made acquainted. It was 
agreed that we should attempt to retake the vessel upon 
the first good opportunity, leaving Jones altogether out 
of our councils. In the event of success we were to 
run the brig into the first port that offered, and deliver 
her up. The desertion of his party had frustrated Pe- 
ters's design of going into the Pacific an adventure 
which could not be accomplished without a crew, and 
he depended upon either getting acquitted upon trial on 
the score of insanity (which he solemnly averred had 
actuated him in lending his aid to the mutiny), or upon 
obtaining a pardon, if found guilty, through the repre 
sentations of Augustus and myself. Our deliberations 
were interrupted for the present by the cry of "All 
hands take in sail," and Peters and Augustus ran up on 
deck. 

As usual, the crew were nearly all drunk ; and, before 
sail could be properly taken in, a violent squall laid the 
brig on her beam-ends. By keeping her away, however, 
she righted, having shipped a good deal of water. 
Scarcely was everything secure, when another squall 
took the vessel, and immediately afterward another no 
damage being done. There was every appearance of a 
gale of wind, which, indeed, shortly came on, with great 
fury, from the northward and westward. All was made 
as snug as possible, and we laid to, as usual, under a 
close-reefed foresail. As night drew on, the wind in 
creased in violence, with a remarkably heavy sea. Pe 
ters now came into the forecastle with Augustus, and we 
resumed our deliberations. 

We agreed that no opportunity could be more favour 
able than the present for carrying our design into effect, 
as an attempt at such a moment would never be antici 
pated. As the brig was snugly laid to, there would be 



70 NARRATIVE OP 

no necessity of manoeuvring her until good weather, 
when, if we succeeded in our attempt, we might liberate 
one, or perhaps two of the men, to aid us in taking her 
into port. The main difficulty was the great dispropor 
tion in our forces. There were only three of us, and in 
the cabin there were nine. All the arms on board, too, 
were in their possession, with the exception of a pair of 
small pistols which Peters had concealed about his per 
son, and the large seaman's knife which he always wore 
in the waistband of his pantaloons. From certain indi 
cations, too, such, for example, as there being no such 
thing as an axe or a handspike lying in their customary 
places, we began to fear that the mate had his suspi 
cions, at least in regard to Peters, and that he would let 
slip no opportunity of getting rid of him. It was clear, 
indeed, that what we should determine to do could not 
be done too soon. Still the odds were too much against 
us to allow of our proceeding without the greatest cau 
tion. 

Peters proposed that he should go up on deck, and 
enter into conversation with the watch (Allen), when he 
would be able to throw him into the sea without trouble, 
and without making any disturbance, by seizing a good 
opportunity ; that Augustus and myself should then come 
up, and endeavour to provide ourselves with some kind 
of weapons from the deck; and that we should then 
make a rush together, and secure the companion-way 
before any opposition could be offered. I objected to 
this, because I could not believe that the mate (who was 
a cunning fellow in all matters which did not affect his 
superstitious prejudices) would suffer himself to be so 
easily entrapped. The very fact of there being a watch 
on deck at all was sufficient proof that he was upon the 
alert it not being usual, except in vessels where disci 
pline is most rigidly enforced, to station a watch on 
deck when a vessel is lying to in a gale of wind. As I 
address myself principally, if not altogether, to persons 
who have never been to sea, it may be as well to state 
the exact condition of a vessel under such circumstan 
ces. Lying to, or, in sea-parlance " laying to," is a 



A. GORDON PYM. 71 

measure resorted to for various purposes, and effected in 
various manners. In moderate weather, it is frequently 
done with a view of merely bringing the vessel to a 
stand-still, to wait for another vessel, or any similar ob 
ject. If the vessel which lies to is under full sail, the 
manoeuvre is usually accomplished by throwing round 
some portion of her sails so as to let the wind take them 
aback, when she becomes stationary. But we are now 
speaking of lying to in a gale of wind. This is done 
when the wind is ahead, and too violent to admit of car 
rying sail without danger of capsizing ; and sometimes 
even when the wind is fair, but the sea too heavy for the 
vessel to be put before it. If a vessel be suffered to 
scud before the wind in a very heavy sea, much damage 
is usually done her by the shipping of water over her 
stern, and sometimes by the violent plunges she makes 
forward. This manoeuvre, then, is seldom resorted to in 
such case, unless through necessity. When the vessel 
is in a leaky condition, she is often put before the wind 
even in the heaviest seas ; for, when lying to, her seams 
are sure to be greatly opened by her violent straining, 
and it is not so much the case when scudding. Often, 
too, it becomes necessary to scud a vessel, either when 
the blast is so exceedingly furious as to tear in pieces 
the sail which is employed with a view of bringing her 
head to the wind, or when, through the false modelling 
of the frame or other causes, this main object cannot be 
effected. 

Vessels in a gale of wind are laid to in different man 
ners, according to their peculiar construction. Some 
lie to best under a foresail, and this, I believe, is the 
sail most usually employed. Large square-rigged ves 
sels have sails for the express purpose, called storm- 
staysails. But the jib is occasionally employed by 
itself sometimes the jib and foresail, or a double-reefed 
foresail, and not unfrequently the after-sails, are made 
use of. Foretopsails are very often found to answer 
the purpose better than any other species of sail. The 
Grampus was generally laid to under a close-reefed 
foresail. 



72 NARRATIVE OF 

When a vessel is to be laid to, her head is brought 
up to the wind just so nearly as to fill the sail under 
which she lies, when hauled flat aft, that is, when 
brought diagonally across the vessel. This being done, 
the bows point within a few degrees of the direc 
tion from which the wind issues, and the windward bow 
of course receives the shock of the waves. In this sit 
uation a good vessel will ride out a very heavy gale of 
wind without shipping a drop of water, and without any 
farther attention being requisite on the part of the crew. 
The helm is usually lashed down, but this is altogether 
unnecessary (except on account of the noise it makes 
when loose), for the rudder has no effect upon the vessel 
when lying to. Indeed, the helm had far better be left 
loose than lashed very fast, for the rudder is apt to be 
torn off by heavy seas if there be no room for the helm 
to play. As long as the sail holds, a well-modelled 
vessel will maintain her situation, and ride every sea, as 
if instinct with life and reason. If the violence of the 
wind, however, should tear the sail into pieces (a feat 
which it requires a perfect hurricane to accomplish 
under ordinary circumstances), there is then imminent 
danger. The vessel falls off from the wind, and, coming 
broadside to the sea, is completely at its mercy: the 
only resource in this case is to put her quickly before the 
wind, letting her scud until some other sail can be set. 
Some vessels will lie to under no sail whatever, but 
such are not to be trusted at sea. 

But to return from this digression. It had never been 
customary with the mate to have any watch on deck 
when lying to in a gale of wind, and the fact that he 
had now one, coupled with the circumstance of the mis 
sing axes and handspikes, fully convinced us that the 
crew were too well on the watch to be taken by surprise 
in the manner Peters had suggested. Something, how 
ever, was to be done, and that with as little delay as 
practicable, for there could be no doubt that a suspicion 
having been once entertained against Peters, he would 
be sacrificed upon the earliest occasion, and one would 



A. GORDON PVM. 73 

certainly be either found or made upon the breaking of 
the gale. 

Augustus now suggested that if Peters could contrive 
to remove, under any pretext, the piece of chain-cable 
which lay over the trap in the stateroom, we might pos 
sibly be able to come upon them unawares by means of 
the hold ; but a little reflection convinced us that the 
vessel rolled and pitched too violently for any attempt 
of that nature. 

By good fortune I at length hit upon the idea of work 
ing upon the superstitious terrors and guilty conscience 
of the mate. It will be remembered that one of the 
crew, Hartman Rogers, had died during the morning, 
having been attacked two days before with spasms after 
drinking some spirits and water. Peters had expressed 
to us his opinion that this man had been poisoned by 
the mate, and for this belief he had reasons, so he said, 
which were incontrovertible, but which he could not be 
prevailed upon to explain to us this wayward refusal 
being only in keeping with other points of his singular 
character. But whether or not he had any better 
grounds for suspecting the mate than we had ourselves, 
we were easily led to fall in with his suspicion, and de 
termined to act accordingly. 

Rogers had died about eleven in the forenoon, in vio 
lent convulsions ; and the corpse presented in a few 
minutes after death one of the most horrid and loath 
some spectacles I ever remember to have seen. The 
stomach was swollen immensely, like that of a man 
who has been drowned and lain under water for many 
weeks. The hands were in the same condition, while 
the face was shrunken, shrivelled, and of a chalky 
whiteness, except where relieved by two or three gla 
ring red splotches, like those occasioned by the erysipe 
las : one of these splotches extended diagonally across 
the face, completely covering up an eye as if with a 
band of red velvet. In this disgusting condition the 
body had been brought up from the cabin at noon to be 
thrown overboard, when the mate getting a glimpse of it 
(for he now saw it for the first time), and being either 
G 






74 NARRATIVE OF 

touched with remorse for his crime or struck with terror 
at so horrible a sight, ordered the men to sew the body 
up in its hammock, and allow it the usual rites of sea- 
burial. Having given these directions he went below, 
as if to avoid any further sight of his victim. While 
preparations were making to obey his orders, the gale 
came on with great fury, and the design was abandoned 
for the present. The corpse, left to itself, was washed 
into the larboard scuppers, where it still lay at the time 
of which I speak, floundering about with the furious 
lurches of the brig. 

Having arranged our plan, we set about putting it in 
execution as speedily as possible. Peters went upon 
deck, and, as he had anticipated, was immediately ac 
costed by Allen, who appeared to be stationed more as 
a watch upon the forecastle than for any other purpose. 
The fate of this villain, however, was speedily and si 
lently decided ; for Peters, approaching him in a careless 
manner, as if about to address him, seized him by the 
throat, and, before he could utter a single cry, tossed him 
over the bulwarks. He then called to us, and we came 
up. Our first precaution was to look about for some 
thing with which to arm ourselves, and in doing this we 
had to proceed with great care, for it was impossible to 
stand on deck an instant without holding fast, and. vio 
lent seas broke over the vessel at every plunge forward. 
It was indispensable, too, that we should be quick in our 
operations, for every minute we expected the mate to be 
up to set the pumps going, as it was evident the brig 
must be taking in water very fast. After searching 
about for some time, we could find nothing more fit for 
our purpose than the two pump-handles, one of which 
Augustus took, and I the other. Having secured these, 
we stripped off the shirt of the corpse and dropped the 
body overboard. Peters and myself then went below, 
leaving Augustus to watch upon deck, where he took 
his station just where Allen had been placed, and with 
his back to the cabin companion-way, so that, if any one 
of the mate's gang should come up, he might suppose it 
was the watch. 



A. GORDON PYM. 75 

As soon as I got below I commenced disguising my 
self so as to represent the corpse of Rogers. The shirt 
which we had taken from the body aided us very much, 
for it was of a singular form and character, and easily 
recognisable a kind of smock, which the deceased wore 
over his other clothing. It was a blue stockinett, with 
large white stripes running across. \ Having put this on, 
I proceeded to equip myself with a false stomach, in im 
itation of the horrible deformity of the swollen corpse. 
This was soon effected by means of stuffing with some 
bedclothes. I then gave the same appearance to my 
hands by drawing on a pair of white woollen mittens, 
and filling them in with any kind of rags that offered 
themselves. Peters then arranged my face, first rubbing 
it well over with white chalk, and afterward splotching 
it with blood, which he took from a cut in his finger. 
The streak across the eye was not forgotten, and pre 
sented a most shocking appearance. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

As I viewed myself in a fragment of looking-glass 
which hung up in the cabin, and by the dim light of 
a kind of battle-lantern, I was so impressed with a 
sense of vague awe at my appearance, and at the recol 
lection of the terrific reality which I was thus represent 
ing, that I was seized with a violent tremour, and could 
scarcely summon resolution to go on with my part. It 
was necessary, however, to act with decision, and Peters 
and myself went upon deck. 

We there found everything safe, and, keeping close to 
the bulwarks, the three of us crept to the cabin compan 
ion-way. It was only partially closed, precautions hav 
ing been taken to prevent its being suddenly pushed to 
from without, by means of placing billets of wood on the 
upper step so as to interfere with the shutting. We 



76 NARRATIVE OP 

found no difficulty in getting a full view of the interior 
of the cabin through the cracks where the hinges were 
placed. It now proved to have been very fortunate for 
us that we had not attempted to take them by surprise, 
for they were evidently on the alert. Only one was 
asleep, and he lying just at the foot of the companion- 
ladder, with a musket by his side. The rest were 
seated on several mattresses, which had been taken from 
the berths and thrown on the floor. They were engaged 
in earnest conversation ; and although they had been ca 
rousing, as appeared from two empty jugs, with some tin 
tumblers which lay about, they were not as much intoxi 
cated as usual. All had knives, one or two of them 
pistols, and a great many muskets were lying in a berth 
close at hand. 

We listened to their conversation for some time be 
fore we could make up our minds how to act, having as 
yet resolved on nothing determinate, except that we 
"would attempt to paralyze their exertions, when we 
should attack them, by means of the apparition of Rog 
ers. They were discussing their piratical plans, in 
which all we could hear distinctly was, that they would 
unite with the crew of a schooner Hornet, and, if possi 
ble, get the schooner herself into their possession pre 
paratory to some attempt on a large scale, the particu 
lars of which could not be made out by either of us. 

One of the men spoke of Peters, when the mate re 
plied to him in a low voice which could not be distin 
guished, and afterward added more loudly, that " he 
could not understand his being so much forward with 
the captain's brat in the forecastle, and he thought the 
sooner both of them were overboard the better." To 
this no answer was made, but we could easily perceive 
that the hint was well received by the whole party, and 
more particularly by Jones. At this period I was ex 
cessively agitated, the more so as I could see that neither 
Augustus nor Peters could determine how to act. I 
made up my mind, however, to sell my life as dearly as 
possible, and not to suffer myself to be overcome by any 
feelings of trepidation. 



A. GORDON PYM. 77 

The tremendous noise made by the roaring of the 
wind in the rigging and the washing of the sea over the 
deck prevented us from hearing what was said except 
during momentary lulls. In one of these we all distinctly 
heard the mate tell one of the men to " go forward, and 
order the d d lubbers to come into the cabin, where he 
could have an eye upon them, for he wanted no such 
secret doings on board the brig." It was well for us 
that the pitching of the vessel at this moment was so 
violent as to prevent this order from being carried into 
instant execution. The cook got up from his mat 
tress to go for us, when a tremendous lurch, which I 
thought would carry away the masts, threw him head 
long against one of the larboard stateroom doors, bursting 
it open, and creating a good deal of other confusion. 
Luckily, neither of our party was thrown from his posi 
tion, and we had time to make a precipitate retreat to 
the forecastle, and arrange a hurried plan of action be 
fore the messenger made his appearance, or rather be 
fore he put his head out of the companion-hatch, for he 
did not come on deck. From this station he could not 
notice the absence of Allen, and he accordingly bawled 
out as if to him, repeating the orders of the mate. Pe 
ters cried out, " Ay, ay," in a disguised voice, and the 
cook immediately went below, without entertaining a 
suspicion that all was not right. 

My two companions now proceeded boldly aft and 
down into the cabin, Peters closing the door after him 
in the same manner he had found it. The mate re 
ceived them with feigned cordiality, and told Augustus 
that, since he had behaved himself so well of late, he 
might take up his quarters in the cabin, and be one of 
them for the future. He then poured him out a tumbler 
half full of rum, and made him drink it. All this I saw 
and heard, for I followed my friends to the cabin as 
soon as the door was shut, and took up my old point of 
observation. I had brought with me the two pump-han 
dles, one of which I secured near the companion-way, 
to be ready for use when required. 

I now steadied myself as well as possible so as to 
G 2 



78 NARRATIVE OF 

have a good view of all that was passing within, and en 
deavoured to nerve myself to the task of descending 
among the mutineers when Peters should make a signal 
to me as agreed upon. Presently he contrived to turn 
the conversation upon the bloody deeds of the mutiny, 
and, by degrees, led the men to talk of the thousand su 
perstitions which are so universally current arhong sea 
men. I could not make out all that was said, but I 
could plainly see the effects of the conversation in the 
countenances of those present. The mate was evidently 
much agitated, and presently, when some one mentioned 
the terrific appearance of Rogers's corpse, I thought he 
was upon the point of swooning. Peters now asked 
him if he did not think it would be better to have the 
body thrown overboard at once, as it was too horrible a 
sight to see it floundering about in the scuppers. At 
this the villain absolutely gasped for breath, and turned 
his head slowly round upon his companions, as if implo 
ring some one to go up and perform the task. No one, 
however, stirred, and it was quite evident that the whole 
party were wound up to the highest pitch of nervous ex 
citement. Peters now made me the signal. I immedi 
ately threw open the door of the companion-way, and, 
descending without uttering a syllable, stood erect in the 
midst of the party. 

The intense effect produced by this sudden apparition 
is not at all to be wondered at when the various circum 
stances are taken into consideration. Usually, in cases 
of a similar nature, there is left in the mind of the spec 
tator some glimmering of doubt as to the reality of the 
vision before his eyes ; a degree of hope, however feeble, 
that he is the victim of chicanery, and that the apparition 
is not actually a visitant from the world of shadows. It 
is not too much to say that such remnants of doubt have 
been at the bottom of almost every such visitation, and 
that the appalling horror which has sometimes been 
brought about, is to be attributed, even in the cases most 
in point, and where most suffering has been experienced, 
more to a kind of anticipative horror, lest the apparition 
might possibly be real, than to an unwavering belief in 



A. GORDON PYM. 79 

its reality. But, in the present instance, it will be seen 
immediately, that in the minds of the mutineers there 
was not even the shadow of a basis upon which to rest 
a doubt that the apparition of Rogers was indeed a re 
vivification of his disgusting corpse, or at least its spirit 
ual image. The isolated situation of the brig, with its 
entire inaccessibility on account of the gale, confined 
the apparently possible means of deception within such 
narrow and definite limits, that they must have thought 
themselves enabled to survey them all at a glance. 
They had now been at sea twenty-four days, without 
holding more than a speaking communication with any 
vessel whatever. The whole of the crew, too, at least 
all whom they had the most remote reason for suspect 
ing to be on board, were assembled in the cabin, with 
the exception of Allen, the watch ; and his gigantic 
stature (he was six feet six inches high) was too famil 
iar in their eyes to permit the notion that he was the ap 
parition before them to enter their minds even for an in 
stant. Add to these considerations the awe-inspiring 
nature of the tempest, and that of the conversation 
brought about by Peters ; the deep impression which the 
loathsomeness of the actual corpse had made in the 
morning upon the imaginations of the men ; the excel 
lence of the imitation in my person ; and the uncertain 
and wavering light in which they beheld me, as the 
glare of the cabin lantern, swinging violently to and fro, 
fell dubiously and fitfully upon my figure, and there will 
be no reason to wonder that the deception had even 
more than the entire effect which we had anticipated. 
The mate sprang up from the mattress on which he 
was lying, and, without uttering a syllable, fell back, 
stone dead, upon the cabin floor, and was hurled to the 
leeward like a log by a heavy roll of the brig. Of the 
remaining seven there were but three who had at first 
any degree of presence of mind. The four others sat 
for some time rooted apparently to the floor, the most pit 
iable objects of horror and utter despair my eyes ever 
encountered. The only opposition we experienced at 
all was from the cook, John Hunt, and Richard Parker ; 



80 NARRATIVE OF 

but they made but a feeble and irresolute defence. The 
two former were shot instantly by Peters, and I felled 
Parker with a blow on the head from the pump-handle 
which I had brought with me. In the mean time Augus 
tus seized one of the muskets lying on the floor, and 

shot another mutineer ( Wilson) through the breast. 

There were now but three remaining ; but by this time 
they had become aroused from their lethargy, and per 
haps began to see that a deception had been practised 
upon them, for they fought with great resolution and 
fury, and, but for the immense muscular strength of Pe 
ters, might have ultimately got the better of us. These 
three men were Jones, Greely, and Absa 
lom Hicks. Jones had thrown Augustus on the floor, 
stabbed him in several places along the right arm, and 
would no doubt have soon despatched him (as neither 
Peters nor myself could immediately get rid of our own 
antagonists), had it not been for the timely aid of a 
friend upon whose assistance we surely had never de 
pended. This friend was no other than Tiger. With a 
low growl he bounded into the cabin, at a most ^critical 
moment for Augustus, and throwing himself upon Jones, 
pinned him to the floor in an instant. My friend, how 
ever, was now too much injured to render us any 
aid whatever, and I was so encumbered with my dis 
guise that I could do but little. The dog would not 
leave his hold upon the throat of Jones Peters, never 
theless, was far more than a match for the two men who 
remained, and would, no doubt, have despatched them 
sooner, had it not been for the narrow space in which 
he had to act, and the tremendous lurches of the vessel. 
Presently he was enabled to get hold of a heavy stool, 
several of which lay about the floor. With this he beat 
out the brains of Greely as he was in the act of dischar 
ging a musket at me, and immediately afterward a roll 
of the brig throwing him in contact with Hicks, he seized 
him by the throat, and, by dint of sheer strength, stran 
gled him instantaneously. Thus, in far less time than 
I have taken to tell it, we found ourselves masters of the 
brig. 



A. GORDON PYM. 81 

The only person of our opponents who was left alive 
was Richard Parker. This man, it will be remembered, 
I had knocked down with a blow from the pump-handle 
at the commencement of the attack. He now lay mo 
tionless by the door of the shattered stateroom ; but, upon 
Peters touching him with his foot, he spoke, and entreated 
for mercy. His head was only slightly cut, and other 
wise he had received no injury, having been merely 
stunned by the blow. He now got up, and, for the 
present, we secured his hands behind his back. The 
dog was still growling over Jones ; but, upon examination, 
we found him completely dead, the blood issuing in a 
stream from a deep wound in the throat, inflicted, no doubt, 
by the sharp teeth of the animal. 

It was now about one o'clock in the morning, and 
the wind was still blowing tremendously. The brig 
evidently laboured much more than usual, and it became 
absolutely necessary that something should be done with 
a view of easing her in some measure. At almost 
every roll to leeward she shipped a sea, several of which 
came partially down into the cabin during our scuffle, 
the hatchway having been left open by myself when I 
descended. The entire range of bulwarks to larboard 
had been swept away, as well as the caboose, together 
with the jollyboat from the counter. The creaking and 
working of the mainmast, too, gave indication that it was 
nearly sprung. To make room for more stowage in the 
after hold, the heel of this mast had been stepped be 
tween decks (a very reprehensible practice, occasionally 
resorted to by ignorant ship-builders), so that it was in 
imminent danger of Working from its step. But, to crown 
all our difficulties, we plummed the well, and found no 
less than seven feet water. 

Leaving the bodies of the crew lying in the cabin, we 
got to work immediately at the pumps -Parker, of 
course, being set at liberty to assist us in the labour. 
Augustus's arm was bound up as well as we could ef 
fect it, and he did what he could, but that was not much. 
However, we found that we could just manage to keep 
the leak from gaining upon us by having one pump con- 



82 NARRATIVE OF 

stantly going. As there were only four of us, this was 
severe labour ; but we endeavoured to keep up our spirits, 
and looked anxiously for daybreak, when we hoped to 
lighten the brig by cutting away the mainmast. 

In this manner we passed a night of terrible anxiety 
and fatigue, and, when the day at length broke, the gale 
had neither abated in the least, nor were there any signs 
of its abating. We now dragged the bodies on deck 
and threw them overboard. Our next care was to get 
rid of the mainmast. The necessary preparations hav 
ing been made, Peters cut away at the mast (having 
found axes in the cabin), while the rest of us stood by 
the stays and lanyards. As the brig gave a tremendous 
lee-lurch, the word was given to cut away the weather- 
lanyards, which being done, the whole mass of -wood 
and rigging plunged into the sea, clear of the brig, and 
without doing any material injury. We now found that 
the vessel did not labour quite as much as before, but 
our situation was still exceedingly precarious, and, in 
spite of the utmost exertions, we could not gain upon the 
leak without the aid of both pumps. The little assist 
ance which Augustus could render us was not really of 
any importance. To add to our distress, a heavy sea, 
striking the brig to windward, threw her off several 
points from the wind, and, before she could regain her 
position, another broke completely over her, and hurled 
her full upon her beam-ends. The ballast now shifted 
in a mass to leeward (the stowage had been knocking 
about perfectly at random for some time), and for a few 
moments we thought nothing could save us from capsi 
zing. Presently, however, we partially righted ; but the 
ballast still retaining its place to larboard, we lay so 
much along that it was useless to think of working the 
pumps, which indeed we could not have done much 
longer in any case, as our hands were entirely raw with 
the excessive labour we had undergone, and were bleed 
ing in the most horrible manner. 

Contrary to Parker's advice, we now proceeded to cut 
away the foremast, and at length accomplished it after 
much difficulty, owing to the position in which we lay. 



A. GORDON PYM. 83 

In going overboard the wreck took with it the bowsprit, 
and left us a complete hulk. 

So far we had had reason to rejoice in the escape of 
our longboat, which had received no damage from any 
of the huge seas which had come on board. But we 
had not long to congratulate ourselves ; for the fore 
mast having gone, and, of course, the foresail with it, by 
which the brig had been steadied, every sea now made 
a complete breach over us, and in. five minutes our deck 
was swept from stem to stern, the longboat and star 
board bulwarks torn off, and even the windlass shattered 
into fragments. It was, indeed, hardly possible for us to 
be in a more pitiable condition. 

At noon there seemed to be some slight appearance 
of the gale's abating, but in this we were sadly disap 
pointed, for it only lulled for a few minutes to blow with 
redoubled fury. About four in the afternoon it was ut 
terly impossible to stand up against the violence of the 
blast ; and, as the night closed in upon us, I had not a 
shadow of hope that the vessel would hold together until 
morning. 

By midnight we had settled very deep in the water, 
which was now up to the orlop deck. The rudder went 
soon afterward, the se/a which tore it away lifting the after 
portion of the brig entirely from the water, against which 
she thumped in her descent with such a concussion 
as would be occasioned by going ashore. We had 
all calculated that the rudder would hold its own to the 
last, as it was unusually strong, being rigged as I have 
never seen one rigged either before or since. Down its 
main timber there ran a succession of stout iron hooks, 
and others in the same manner down the stern-post. 
Through these hooks there extended a very thick 
wrought-iron rod, the rudder being thus held to the stern- 
post, and swinging freely on the rod. The tremendous 
force of the sea which tore it off may be estimated by 
the fact, that the hooks in the stern-post, which ran en 
tirely through it, being clinched on the inside, were 
drawn every one of them completely out of the solid 
wood. 






84 NARRATIVE OP 

We had scarcely time to draw breath after the vio- 
ence of this shock, when one of the most tremendous 
waves I had then ever known broke right on board of 
us, sweeping the companion-way clear off, bursting in 
the hatchways, and filling every inch of the vessel with 
water. 



CHAPTER IX. 

LUCKILY, just before night, all four of us had lashed 
ourselves firmly to the fragments of the windlass, lying 
in Jhis manner as flat upon the deck as possible. This 
precaution alone saved us from destruction. As it was, 
we were all more or less stunned by the immense weight 
of water which tumbled upon us, and which did not roll 
from above us until we were nearly exhausted. As 
soon as I could recover breath, I called aloud to my 
companions. Augustus alone replied, saying, " It is all 
over with us, and may God have mercy upon our souls." 
By-and-by both the others were enabled to speak, when 
they exhorted us to take courage, as there was still hope ; 
it being impossible, from the nature of the cargo, that 
the brig could go down, and there being every chance 
that the gale would blow over by the morning. These 
words inspired me with new life ; for, strange as it may 
seem, although it was obvious that a vessel with a cargo 
of empty oil-casks would not sink, I had been hitherto 
so confused in mind as to have overlooked this consider 
ation altogether ; and the danger which I had for some 
time regarded as the most imminent was that of founder 
ing. As hope revived within me, I made use of every 
opportunity to strengthen the lashings which held me 
to the remains of the windlass, and in this occupation I 
noon discovered that my companions were also busy. 
The night was as dark as it could possibly be, and the 
horrible shrieking din and confusion which surrounded 



A. GORDON PYM. 85 

us it is useless to attempt describing. Our deck lay 
level with the sea, or rather we were encircled with a 
towering ridge of foam, a portion of which swept over 
us every instant. It is not too much to say that our 
heads were not fairly out of water more than one second 
in three. Although we lay close together, no one of us 
could see the other, or, indeed, any portion of the brig 
itself, upon which we were so tempestuously hurled 
about. At intervals we called one to the other, thus en 
deavouring to keep alive hope, and render consolation 
and encouragement to such of us as stood most in need 
of it. The feeble condition of Augustus made him an 
object of solicitude with us all ; and as, from the lacerated 
condition of his right arm, it must have been impossible 
for him to secure his lashings with any degree of firm 
ness, we were in momentary expectation of finding that 
he had gone overboard yet to render him aid was a 
thing altogether out of the question. Fortunately, his 
station was more secure than that of any of the rest of 
us ; for the upper part of his body lying just beneath a 
portion of the shattered windlass, the seas, as they tum 
bled in upon him, were greatly broken in their violence. 
In any other situation than this (into which he had been 
accidentally thrown after having lashed himself in a very 
exposed spot) he must inevitably have perished before 
morning. Owing to the brig's lying so much along, we 
were all less liable to be washed off than otherwise 
would have been the case. The heel, as I have before 
stated, was to larboard, about one half of the deck being 
constantly under water. The seas, therefore, which 
struck us to starboard were much broken by the vessel's 
side, only reaching us in fragments as we lay flat on our 
faces ; while those which came from larboard, being 
what are called back-water seas, and obtaining little hold 
upon us on account of our posture, had not sufficient 
force to drag us from our fastenings. 

In this frightful situation we lay until the day broke 
so as to show us more fully the horrors which sur 
rounded us. The brig was a mere log, rolling about at 
the mercy of every wave ; the gale was upon the increase, 
H 






86 NARRATIVE OF 

if anything, blowing indeed a complete hurricane, and 
there appeared to us no earthly prospect of deliverance. 
For several hours we held on in silence, expecting every 
moment that our lashings would either give way, that 
the remains of the windlass would go by the board, or 
that some of the huge seas, which roared in every direc 
tion around us and above us, would drive the hulk so far 
beneath the water that we should be drowned before it 
could regain the surface. By the mercy of God, how 
ever, we were preserved from these imminent dangers, 
and about midday were cheered by the light of the 
blessed sun. Shortly afterward we could perceive a 
sensible diminution in the force of the wind, when, now 
for the first time since the latter part of the evening be 
fore, Augustus spoke, asking Peters, who lay closest to 
him, if he thought there was any possibility of our being 
saved. As no reply was at first made to this question, 
we all concluded that the hybrid had been drowned 
where he lay ; but presently, to our great joy, he spoke, 
although very feebly, saying that he was in great pain, 
being so cut by the tightness of his lashings across the 
stomach, that he must either find means of loosening 
them or perish, as it was impossible th'at he could en 
dure his misery much longer. This occasioned us great 
distress, as it was altogether useless to think of aiding 
him in any manner while the sea continued washing over 
us as it did. We exhorted him to bear his sufferings 
with fortitude, and promised to seize the first opportunity 
which should offer itself to relieve him. He replied that 
it would soon be too late ; that it would be all over with 
him before we could help him ; and then, after moaning 
for some minutes, lay silent, when we concluded that he 
had perished. 

As the evening drew on, the sea had fallen so much 
that scarcely more than one wave broke over the hulk 
from windward in the course of five minutes, and the 
wind had abated a great deal, although still blowing a 
severe gale. I had not heard any of my companions 
speak for hours, and now called to Augustus. He re 
plied, although very feebly, so that I could not distin- 



A. GORDON PYM. 87 

guish what he said. I then spoke to Peters and to 
Parker, neither of whom returned any answer. 

Shortly after this period I fell into a state of partial 
insensibility, during which the most pleasing images 
floated in my imagination ; such as green trees, waving 
meadows of ripe grain, processions of dancing girls, 
troops of cavalry, and other phantasies. I now remem 
ber that, in all which passed before my mind's eye, mo 
tion was a predominant idea. Thus, I never fancied 
any stationary object, such as a house, a mountain, or 
anything of that kind ; but windmills, ships, large birds-, 
balloons, people on horseback, carriages driving furiously, 
and similar moving objects, presented themselves in 
endless succession. When I recovered from this state, 
the sun was, as near as I could guess, an hour high. I 
had the greatest difficulty in bringing to recollection the 
various circumstances connected with my situation, and 
for some time remained firmly convincedrthat I was still 
in the hold of the brig, near the box, and that the body 
of Parker was that of Tiger. 

When I at length completely came to my senses, I 
found that the wind blew no more than a moderate 
breeze, and that the sea was comparatively calm ; so 
much so that it only washed over the brig amidships. 
My left arm had broken loose from its lashings, and was 
much cut about the elbow ; my right was entirely be 
numbed, and the hand and wrist swollen prodigiously 
by the pressure of the rope, which had worked from the 
shoulder downward. I was also in great pain from an 
other rope which went about my waist, and had been 
drawn to an insufferable degree of tightness. Looking 
round upon my companions, I saw that Peters still lived, 
although a thick line was pulled so forcibly around his 
loins as to give him the appearance of being cut nearly 
in two ; as I stirred, he made a feeble motion to me with 
his hand, pointing to the rope. Augustus gave no indi 
cation of life whatever, and was bent nearly double 
across a splinter of the windlass. Parker spoke to me 
when he saw me moving, and asked me if I had not suf 
ficient strength to release him from his situation ; saying, 



88 NARRATIVE OF 

that if I would summon up what spirits I could, and con 
trive to untie him, we might yet save our lives ; but that 
otherwise we must all perish. I told him to take cour 
age, and I would endeavour to free him. Feeling in my 
pantaloons' pocket, I got hold of my penknife, and, after 
several ineffectual attempts, at length succeeded in open 
ing it. I then, with my left hand, managed to free my 
right from its fastenings, and afterward cut the other ropes 
which held me. Upon attempting, however, to move 
from my position, I found that my legs failed me alto 
gether, and that I could not get up; neither could I 
move my right arm in any direction. Upon mentioning 
this to Parker, he advised me to lie quiet for a few min 
utes, holding on to the windlass with my left hand, so 
as to allow time for the blood to circulate. Doing this, 
the numbness presently began to die away, so that I 
could move first one of my legs, and then the other ; 
and, shortly afterward, I regained the partial use of my 
right arm. I now crawled with great caution towards 
Parker, without getting on my legs, and soon cut loose 
all the lashings about him, when, after a short delay, he 
also recovered the partial use of his limbs. We now 
lost no time in getting loose the rope from Peters. It 
had cut a deep gash through the waistband of his wool 
len pantaloons, and through two shirts, and made its 
way into his groin, from which the blood flowed out 
copiously as we removed the cordage. No sooner had 
we removed it, however, than he spoke, and seemed to 
experience instant relief being able to move with much 
greater ease than either Parker or myself this was no 
doubt owing to the discharge of blood. 

We had little hope that Augustus would recover, as he 
evinced no signs of life ; but, upon getting to him, we 
discovered that he had merely swooned from loss of 
blood, the bandages we had placed around his wounded 
arm having been torn off by the water ; none of the 
ropes which held him to the windlass were drawn suffi 
ciently tight to occasion his death. Having relieved 
him from the fastenings, and got him clear of the broken 
wood about the windlass, we secured him in a dry placa 



A. GORDON PYM. 89 

to windward, with his head somewhat lower than his 
body, and all three of us busied ourselves in chafing his 
limbs. In about half an hour he came to himself, al 
though it was not until the next morning that he gave 
signs of recognising any of us, or had sufficient strength 
to speak. By the time we had thus got clear of our 
lashings it was quite dark, and it began to cloud up, so 
that we were again in the greatest agony lest it should 
come on to blow hard, in which event nothing could have 
saved us from perishing, exhausted as we were. By 
good fortune it continued very moderate during the night, 
the sea subsiding every minute, which gave us great 
hopes of ultimate preservation. A gentle breeze still 
blew from the N. W., but the weather was not at all cold. 
Augustus was lashed carefully to windward in such a 
manner as to prevent him from slipping overboard with 
the rolls of the vessel, as he was still too weak to hold 
on at all. For ourselves there was no such necessity. 
We sat close together, supporting each other with the 
aid of the broken ropes about the windlass, and devising 
methods of escape from our frightful situation. We de 
rived much comfort from taking off our clothes and 
wringing the water from them. When we put them on 
after this, they felt remarkably warm and pleasant, and 
served to invigorate us in no little degree. We helped 
Augustus off with his, and wrung them for him, when he 
experienced the same comfort. 

Our chief sufferings were now those of hunger and 
thirst, and, when we looked forward to the means of re 
lief in this respect, our hearts sunk within us, and we 
were induced to regret that we had escaped the less 
dreadful perils of the sea. We endeavoured, however, 
to console ourselves with the hope of being speedily 
picked up by some vessel, and encouraged each other to 
bear with fortitude the evils that might happen. 

The morning of the fourteenth at length dawned, and 
the weather still continued clear and pleasant, with a 
steady but very light breeze from the N. W. The sea 
was now quite smooth, and as, from some cause Which 
we could not determine, the brig did not lie so much 
H2 



90 NARRATIVE OP 

along as she had done before, the deck was compara* 
lively dry, and we could move about with freedom. 
We had now been better than three entire days and 
nights without either food or drink, and it became abso 
lutely necessary that we should make an attempt to get 
up something from below. As the brig was completely 
full of water, we went to this work despondingly, and 
with but little expectation of being able to obtain any 
thing. We made a kind of drag by driving some nails 
which we broke out from the remains of the companion- 
hatch into two pieces of wood. Tying these across 
each other, and fastening them to the end of a rope, we 
threw them into the cabin, and dragged them to and fro, 
in the faint hope of being thus able to entangle some ar 
ticle which might be of use to us for food, or which 
might at least render us assistance in getting it. We 
spent the greater part of the morning in this labour with 
out effect, fishing up nothing more than a few bedclothes, 
which were readily caught by the nails. Indeed, our 
contrivance was so very clumsy, that any greater success 
was hardly to be anticipated. 

We now tried the forecastle, but equally in vain, 
and were upon the brink of despair, when Peters pro 
posed that we should fasten a rope to his body, and let 
him make an attempt to get up something by diving into 
the cabin. This proposition we hailed with all the de 
light which reviving hope could inspire. He proceeded 
immediately to strip off his clothes with the exception 
of his pantaloons ; and a strong rope was then carefully 
fastened around his middle, being brought up over his 
shoulders in such a manner that there was no possibility 
of its slipping. The undertaking was one of great diffi 
culty and danger ; for, as we could hardly expect to find 
much, if any provision in the cabin itself, it was neces 
sary that the diver, after letting himself down, should 
make a turn to the right, and proceed under water a dis 
tance of ten or twelve feet, in a narrow passage, to the 
storeroom, and return, without drawing breath. 

Everything being ready, Peters now descended into 
the cabin, going down the companion-ladder until the 



A. GORDON PYM. 91 

water reached his chin. He then plunged in, head first, 
turning to the right as he plunged, and endeavouring to 
make his way to the storeroom. In this first attempt, 
however, he was altogether unsuccessful. In less than 
half a minute after his going down we felt the rope 
jerked violently (the signal we had agreed upon when 
he desired to be drawn up). We accordingly drew him 
up instantly, but so incautiously as to bruise him badly 
against the ladder. He had brought nothing with him, 
and had been unable to penetrate more than a very little 
way into the passage, owing to the constant exertions he 
found it necessary to make in order to keep himself 
from floating up against the deck. Upon getting out he 
was very much exhausted, and had to rest full fifteen 
minutes before he could again venture to descend. 

The second attempt met with even worse success ; 
for he remained so long under water without giving the 
signal, that, becoming alarmed for his safety, we drew 
him out without it, and found that he was almost at the 
last gasp, having, as he said, repeatedly jerked at the 
rope without our feeling it. This was probably owing 
to a portion of it having become entangled in the balus 
trade at the foot of the ladder. This balustrade was, 
indeed, so much in the way, that we determined to re 
move it, if possible, before proceeding with our design. 
As we had no means of getting it away except by main 
force, we all descended into the water as far as we 
could on the ladder, and, giving a pull against it with 
our united strength, succeeded in breaking it down. 

The third attempt was equally unsuccessful with 
the two first, and it now became evident that nothing 
could be done in this manner without the aid of some 
weight with which the diver might steady himself, and 
keep to the floor of the cabin while making his search. 
For a long time we looked about in vain for something 
which might answer this purpose ; but at length, to our 
great joy, we discovered one of the weather-forechains 
so loose that we had not the least difficulty in wrench 
ing it off. Having fastened this securely to one of his 
ancles, Peters now made his fourth descent into the 



92 NARRATIVE OF 

cabin, and this time succeeded in making his way to the 
door of the steward's room. To his inexpressible grief, 
however, he found it locked, and was obliged to return 
without effecting an entrance, as, with the greatest exer 
tion, he could remain under water not more, at the ut 
most extent, than a single minute. Our affairs now 
looked gloomy indeed, and neither Augustus nor myself, 
could refrain from bursting into tears, as we thought of 
the host of difficulties which encompassed us, and the 
slight probability which existed of our finally making an 
escape. But this weakness was not of long duration. 
Throwing ourselves on our knees to God, we implored 
his aid in the many dangers which beset us ; and arose 
with renewed hope and vigour to think what could yet 
be done by mortal means towards accomplishing our de 
liverance. 



CHAPTER X. 

SHORTLY afterward an incident occurred which I am 
induced to look upon as more intensely productive of 
emotion, as far more replete with the extremes first of de 
light and then of horror, than even any of the thousand 
chances which afterward befell me in nine long years, 
crowded with events of the most startling, and, in many 
cases, of the most unconceived and unconceivable char 
acter. We were lying on the deck near the companion- 
way, and debating the possibility of yet making our way 
into the storeroom, when, looking towards Augustus, who 
lay fronting myself, I perceived that he had become all 
at once deadly pale, and that his lips were quivering in 
the most singular and unaccountable manner. Greatly 
alarmed, I spoke to him, but he made me no reply, and 
I was beginning to think that he was suddenly taken ill, 
when I took notice of his eyes, which were glaring ap 
parently at some object behind me. I turned my head, 



A. GORDON PYM. 93 

and shall never forget the ecstatic joy which thrilled 
through every particle of my frame, when I perceived a 
large brig bearing down upon us, and not more than a 
couple of miles off. I sprung to my feet as if a musket 
bullet had suddenly struck me to the heart ; and, stretch 
ing out my arms in the direction of the vessel, stood in 
this manner, motionless, and unable to articulate a syl 
lable. Peters and Parker were equally affected, although 
in different ways. The former danced about the deck 
like a madman, uttering the most extravagant rhodomon- 
tades, intermingled with howls and imprecations, while 
the latter burst into tears, and continued for many min 
utes weeping like a child. 

The vessel in sight was a large hermaphrodite brig, 
of a Dutch build, and painted black, with a tawdry gilt 
figurehead. She had evidently seen a good deal of 
rough weather, and, we supposed, had suffered much in 
the gale which had proved so disastrous to ourselves ; 
for her fore topmast was gone, and some of her starboard 
bulwarks. When we first saw her, she was, as I have 
already said, about two miles off and to windward, bear 
ing down upon us. The breeze was very gentle, and 
what astonished us chiefly was, that she had no other 
sails set than her foresail and mainsail, with a flying jib 
of course she came down but slowly, and our impa 
tience amounted nearly to phrensy. The awkward man 
ner in which she steered, too, was remarked by all of 
us, even excited as we were. She yawed about so con 
siderably, that once or twice we thought it impossible 
she could see us, or imagined that, having seen us, and 
discovered no person on board, she was about to tack 
and make off in another direction. Upon each of these 
occasions we screamed and shouted at the top of our 
voices, when the stranger would appear to change for a 
moment her intention, and again hold on towards us 
this singular conduct being repeated two or three times, 
so that at last we could think of no other manner of ac 
counting for it than by supposing the helmsman to be in 
liquor. 

No person was seen upon her decks until she arrived 



94 NARRATIVE OF 

within about a quarter of a mile of us. We then saw 
three seamen, whom by their dress we took to be Hol 
landers. Two of these were lying on some old sails 
near the forecastle, and the third, who appeared to be 
looking at us with great curiosity, was leaning over the 
starboard bow near the bowsprit. This last was a stout 
and tall man, with a very dark skin. He seemed by his 
manner to be encouraging us to have patience, nod 
ding to us in a cheerful although rather odd way, and 
smiling constantly so as to display a set of the most 
brilliantly white teeth. As his vessel drew nearer, we 
saw a red flannel cap which he had on fall from his head 
into the water ; but of this he took little or no notice, 
continuing his odd smiles and gesticulations. I relate 
these things and circumstances minutely, and I relate 
them, it must be understood, precisely as they appeared 
to us. 

The brig came on slowly, and now more steadily than 
before, and I cannot speak calmly of this event 
our hearts leaped up wildly within us, and we poured 
out our whole souls in shouts and thanksgiving to God 
for the complete, unexpected, and glorious deliverance 
that was so palpably at hand. Of a sudden, and all at 
once, there came wafted over the ocean from the strange 
vessel (which was now close upon us) a smell, a 
stench, such as the whole world has no name for no 
conception of hellish utterly suffocating insuffera 
ble, inconceivable. I gasped for breath, and, turning to 
my companions, perceived that they were paler than mar 
ble. But we had now no time left for question or sur 
mise the brig was within fifty feet of us, and it seemed 
to be her intention to run under our counter, that we 
might board her without her putting out a boat. We 
rushed aft, when, suddenly, a wide yaw threw her off 
full five or six points from the course she had been run 
ning, and, as she passed under our stern at the distance 
of about twenty feet, we had a full view of her decks. 
Shall I ever forget the triple horror of that spectacle ? 
Twenty-five or thirty human bodies, among whom wero 
several females, lay scattered about between the countei 



' 






A. GORDON PYM. 95 

and the galley, in the last and most loathsome state of 
putrefaction ! We plainly saw that not a soul lived in 
that fated vessel ! Yet we could not help shouting to the 
dead for help ! Yes, long and loudly did we beg, in the 
agony of the moment, that those silent and disgusting 
images would stay for us, would not abandon us to be 
come like them, would receive us among their goodly 
company ! We were raving with horror and despair 
thoroughly mad through the anguish of our grievous dis 
appointment. 

As our first loud yell of terror broke forth, it was re 
plied to by something, from near the bowsprit of the 
stranger, so closely resembling the scream of a human 
voice that the nicest ear might have been startled and de 
ceived. At this instant another sudden yaw brought the 
region of the forecastle for a moment into view, and we 
beheld at once the origin of the sound. We saw the 
tall stout figure still leaning on the bulwark, and still 
nodding his head to and fro, but his face was now turned 
from us so that we could not behold it. His arms were 
extended over the rail, and the palms of his hands fell 
outward. His knees were lodged upon a stout rope, 
tightly stretched, and reaching from the heel of the bow 
sprit to a cathead. On his back, from which a por 
tion of the shirt had been torn, leaving it bare, there sat 
a huge seagull, busily gorging itself with the horrible 
flesh, its bill and talons deep buried, and its white plu 
mage spattered all over with blood. As the brig moved 
further round so as to bring us close in view, the bird, 
with much apparent difficulty, drew out its crimsoned 
head, and, after eying us for a moment as if stupified, 
arose lazily from the body upon which it had been feast 
ing, and, flying directly above our deck, hovered there 
a while with a portion of clotted and liver-like sub 
stance in its beak. The horrid morsel dropped at length 
with a sullen splash immediately at the feet of Parker. 
May God forgive me, but now, for the first time, there 
flashed through my mind a thought, a thought which I will 
not mention, and I felt myself making a step towards 
the ensanguined spot. I looked upward, and the eyes 



96 NARRATIVE OF 

of Augustus met my own with a degree of intense and 
eager meaning which immediately brought me to my 
senses. I sprang forward quickly, and, with a deep 
shudder, threw the frightful thing into the sea. 

The body from which it had been taken, resting as it 
did upon the rope, had been easily swayed to and fro by 
the exertions of the carnivorous bird, and it was this mo 
tion which had at first impressed us with the belief of 
its being alive. As the gull relieved it of its weight, it 
swung round and fell partiaDy over, so that the face was 
fully discovered. Never, surely, was any object so ter 
ribly full of awe ! The eyes were gone, and the whole 
flesh around the mouth, leaving the teeth utterly naked. 
This, then, was the smile which had cheered us on to 
hope ! this the but I forbear. The brig, as I have al 
ready told, passed under our stern, and made its way 
slowly but steadily to leeward. With her and with her 
terrible crew went all our gay visions of deliverance 
and joy. Deliberately as she went by, we might possi 
bly have found means of boarding her, had not our sud 
den disappointment, and the appalling nature of the dis 
covery which accompanied it, laid entirely prostrate every 
active faculty of mind and body. We had seen and felt, 
but we could neither think nor act, until, alas, too late. 
How much our intellects had been weakened by this 
incident may be estimated by the fact, that, when the 
vessel had proceeded so far that we could perceive no 
more than the half of her hull, the proposition was seri 
ously entertained of attempting to overtake her by swim 
ming! 

I have, since this period, vainly endeavoured to obtain 
some clew to the hideous uncertainty which enveloped the 
fate of the stranger. Her build and general appearance, 
as I have before stated, led us to the belief that she was 
a Dutch trader, and the dresses of the crew also sus 
tained this opinion. We might have easily seen the 
name upon her stern, and, indeed, taken other observa 
tions which would have guided us in making out her 
character ; but the intense excitement of the moment 
blinded us to everything of that nature. From the saf- 



A. GORDON PYM. 97 

fron-like hue of such of the corpses as were not entirely 
decayed, we concluded that the whole of her company 
had perished by the yellow fever, or some other virulent 
disease of the same fearful kind. If such were the case 
(and I know not what else to imagine), death, to judge 
from the positions of the bodies, must have come upon 
them in a manner awfully sudden and overwhelming, 
in a way totally distinct from that which generally char 
acterizes even the most deadly pestilences with which 
mankind are acquainted. It is possible, indeed, that 
poison, accidentally introduced into some of their sea- 
stores, may have brought about the disaster ; or that the 
eating some unknown venomous species of fish, or other 
marine animal, or oceanic bird, might have induced it 
but it is utterly useless to form conjectures where all is 
involved, and will, no doubt, remain for ever involved, in 
the most appalling and unfathomable mystery. 



CHAPTER XI. 

WE spent the remainder of the day in a condition of 
stupid lethargy, gazing after the retreating vessel until 
the darkness, hiding her from our sight, recalled us in 
some measure to our senses. The pangs of hunger and 
thirst then returned, absorbing all other cares and con 
siderations. Nothing, however, could be done until the 
morning, and, securing ourselves as well as possible, we 
endeavoured to snatch a little repose. In this I suc 
ceeded beyond my expectation, sleeping until my com 
panions, who had not been so fortunate, aroused me at 
daybreak to renew our attempts at getting up provision 
from the hull. 

It was now a dead calm, with the sea as smooth as I 
have ever known it the weather warm and pleasant. 
The brig was out of sight. We commenced our opera- 



98 NARRATIVE OF 

tions by wrenching off, with some trouble, another of the 
forechains ; and having fastened both to Peters's feet, he 
again made an endeavour to reach the door of the store 
room, thinking it possible that he might be able to force 
it open, provided he could get at it in sufficient time ; 
and this he hoped to do, as the hulk lay much more 
steadily than before. 

He succeeded very quickly in reaching the door, 
when, loosening one of the chains from his ankle, he 
made every exertion to force a passage with it, but 
in vain, the framework of the room being far stronger 
than was anticipated. He was quite exhausted with 
his long stay under water, and it became absolutely ne 
cessary that some other one of us should take his place. 
For this service Parker immediately volunteered ; but, 
after making three ineffectual efforts, found that he could 
never even succeed in getting near the door. The con 
dition of Augustus's wounded arm rendered it useless 
for him to attempt going down, as he would be unable 
to force the room open should he reach it, and it accord 
ingly now devolved upon me to exert myself for our 
common deliverance. , 

Peters had left one of the chains in the passage, and 
I found, upon plunging in, that I had not sufficient bal 
last to keep me firmly down. I determined, therefore, 
to attempt no more, in my first effort, than merely to re 
cover the other chain. In groping along the floor of the 
passage for this I felt a hard substance, which I imme 
diately grasped, not having time to ascertain what it 
was, but returning and ascending instantly to the sur 
face. The prize proved to be a bottle, and our joy may 
be conceived when I say that it was found to be full of 
Port wine. Giving thanks to God for this timely and 
cheering assistance, we immediately drew the cork with 
my penknife, and, each taking a moderate sup, felt the 
most indescribable comfort from the warmth, strength, 
and spirits with which it inspired us. We then care 
fully recorked the bottle, and, by means of a handker 
chief, swung it in such a manner that there was no pos 
sibility of its getting broken. 



A. GORDON PYM. 99 

Having rested a while after this fortunate discovery, I 
again descended, and now recovered the chain, with 
which I instantly came up. I then fastened it on and 
went down for the third time, when I became fully sat 
isfied that no exertions whatever, in that situation, would 
enable me to force open the door of the storeroom. I 
therefore returned in despair. 

There seemed now to be no longer any room for hope, 
and I could perceive in the countenances of my compan 
ions that they had made up their minds to perish. The 
wine had evidently produced in them a species of delir 
ium, which, perhaps, I had been prevented from feeling 
by the immersion I had undergone since drinking it. 
They talked incoherently, and about matters unconnected 
with our condition, Peters repeatedly asking me ques 
tions about Nantucket. Augustus, too, I remember, ap 
proached me with a serious air, and requested me to 
lend him a pocket-comb, as his hair was full of fish 
scales, and he wished to get them out before going on 
shore. Parker appeared somewhat less affected, and 
urged me to dive at random into the cabin, and bring up 
any article which might come to hand. To this I con 
sented, and, in the first attempt, after staying under a full 
minute, brought up a small leather trunk belonging to 
Captain Barnard. This was immediately opened in the 
faint hope that it might contain something to eat or drink. 
We found nothing, however, except a box of razors and 
two linen shirts. I now went down again, and returned 
without any success. As my head came above water I 
heard a crash on deck, and, upon getting up, saw that 
my companions had ungratefully taken advantage of my 
absence to drink the remainder of the wine, having let 
the bottle fall in the endeavour to replace it before I saw 
them. I remonstrated with them on the heartlessness 
of their conduct, when Augustus burst into tears. The 
other two endeavoured to laugh the matter off as a joke, 
but I hope never again to behold laughter of such a 
species : the distortion of countenance was absolutely 
frightful. Indeed, it was apparent that the stimulus, in 
the empty state of their stomachs, had taken instant and 



100 NARRATIVE OP 

violent effect, and that they were all exceedingly intoxi 
cated. With great difficulty I prevailed upon them to 
lie down, when they fell very soon into a heavy slumber, 
accompanied with loud stertorous breathing. 

I now found myself, as it were, alone in the brig, and 
my reflections, to be sure, were of the most fearful and 
'gloomy nature. No prospect offered itself to my view 
but a lingering death by famine, or, at the best, by being 
overwhelmed in the first gale which should spring up, 
for in our present exhausted condition we could have no 
hope of living through another. 

The gnawing hunger which I now experienced was 
nearly insupportable, and I felt myself capable of going 
to any lengths in order to appease it. With my knife I 
cut off a small portion of the leather trunk, and endeav 
oured to eat it, but found it utterly impossible to swal 
low a single morsel, although I fancied that some little 
alleviation of my suffering was obtained by chewing 
small pieces of it and spitting them out. Towards 
night my companions awoke, one by one, each in an in 
describable state of weakness and horror, brought on by 
the wine, whose fumes had now evaporated. They 
shook as if with a violent ague, and uttered the most 
lamentable cries for water. Their condition affected 
me in the most lively degree, at^he same time causing 
me to rejoice in the fortunate train of circumstances 
which had prevented me from indulging in the wine, and 
consequently from sharing their melancholy and most 
distressing sensations. Their conduct, however, gave 
me great uneasiness and alarm ; for it was evident that, 
unless some favourable change took place, they could 
afford me no assistance in providing for our common 
safety. I had not yet abandoned all idea of being able 
to get up something from below ; but the attempt could 
not possibly be resumed until some one of them was 
sufficiently master of himself to aid me by holding the 
end of the rope while I went down. Parker appeared 
to be somewhat more in possession of his senses than 
the others, and I endeavoured, by every means in my 
power, to arouse him. Thinking that a plunge in the 






A. GORDON PYM. 101 

seawater might have a beneficial effect, I contrived to 
fasten the end of a rope around his body, and then, lead 
ing him to the companion-way (he remaining quite pas 
sive all the while), pushed him in, and immediately drew 
him out. I had good reason to congratulate myself upon 
having made this experiment ; for he appeared much re 
vived and invigorated, and, upon getting out, asked me, 
in- a rational manner, why I had so served him. Having 
explained my object, he expressed himself indebted to 
me, and said that he felt greatly better from the immer 
sion, afterward conversing sensibly upon our situation. 
We then resolved to treat Augustus and Peters in the 
same way, which we immediately did, when they both 
experienced much benefit from the shock. This idea of 
sudden immersion had been suggested to me by reading 
in some medical work the good effect of the shower-bath 
in a case where the patient was suffering from mania a 
potu. fc 

Finding that I could now trust my companions to hold 
the end of the rope, I again made three or four plunges 
into the cabin, although it was now quite dark, and a 
gentle but long swell from the northward rendered the 
hulk somewhat unsteady. In the course of these at 
tempts I succeeded in bringing up two case-knives, a 
three-gallon jug, empty, and a blanket, but nothing which 
could serve us for food. I continued my efforts, after 
getting these articles, until I was completely exhausted, 
but brought up nothing else. During the night Parker 
and Peters occupied themselves by turns in the same 
manner ; but nothing coming to hand, we now gave up 
this attempt in despair, concluding that we were exhaust 
ing ourselves in vain. 

We passed the remainder of this night in a state of 
the most intense mental and bodily anguish that can pos 
sibly be imagined. The morning of the sixteenth at 
length dawned, and we looked eagerly around the hori 
zon for relief, but to no purpose. The sea was still 
smooth, with only a long swell from the northward, as on 
yesterday. This was the sixth day since we had tasted 
either food or drink, with the exception of the bottle of 
12 



102 NARRATIVE OF 

Port wine, and it was clear that we could hold out but a very 
little while longer unless something could be obtained. 
I never saw before, nor wish to see again, human beings 
so utterly emaciated as Peters and Augustus. Had I 
met them on shore in their present condition I should not 
have had the slightest suspicion that I had ever beheld 
them. Their countenances were totally changed in 
character, so that I could not bring myself to believe 
them really the same individuals with whom I had been 
in company but a few days before. Parker, although 
sadly reduced, and so feeble that he could not raise his 
head from his bosom, was not so far gone as the other 
two. He suffered with great patience, making no com 
plaint, and endeavouring to inspire us with hope in 
every manner he could devise. For myself, although at 
the commencement of the voyage I had been in bad 
health, and was at all times of a delicate constitution, I 
suffered less than any of us, being much less reduced in 
frame, and retaining my powers of mind in a surprising 
degree, while the rest were completely prostrated in intel 
lect, and seemed to be brought to a species of second 
childhood, generally simpering in their expressions, with 
idiotic smiles, and uttering the most absurd platitudes. 
At intervals, however, they would appear to revive sud 
denly, as if inspired all at once with a consciousness of 
their condition, when they would spring upon their feet 
in a momentary flash of vigour, and speak, for a short 
period, of their prospects, in a manner altogether rational, 
although full of the most intense despair. It is possible, 
however, that my companions may have entertained the 
same opinion of their own condition as I did of mine, and 
that I may have unwittingly been guilty of the same ex 
travagances and imbecilities as themselves this is a 
matter which cannot be determined. 

About noon Parker declared that he saw land off the 
larboard quarter, and it was with the utmost difficulty I 
could restrain him from plunging into the sea with the 
view of swimming towards it. Peters and Augustus 
took little notice of what he said, being apparently 
wrapped up in moody contemplation. Upon looking in 



A. GORDON PYM. 103 

the direction pointed out I could not perceive the faintest 
appearance of the shore indeed, I was too well aware 
that we were far from any land to indulge in a hope of 
that nature. It was a long time, nevertheless, before I 
could convince Parker of his mistake. He then burst into 
a flood of tears, weeping like a child, with loud cries and 
sobs, for two or three hours, when, becoming exhausted, 
he fell asleep. 

Peters and Augustus now made several ineffectual ef 
forts to swallow portions of the leather. I advised them 
to chew it and spit it out ; but they were too excessively 
debilitated to be able to follow my advice. I continued 
to chew pieces of it at intervals, and found some relief 
from so doing ; my chief distress was for water, and I 
was only prevented from taking a draught from the sea 
by remembering the horrible consequences which thus 
have resulted to others who were similarly situated with 
ourselves. 

The day wore on in this manner, when I suddenly 
discovered a sail to the eastward, and on our larboard 
bow. She appeared to be a large ship, and was coming 
nearly athwart us, being probably twelve or fifteen miles 
distant. None of my companions had as yet discovered 
her, and I forbore to tell them of her for the present, 
lest we might again be disappointed of relief. At 
length, upon her getting nearer, I saw distinctly that she 
was heading immediately for us, with her light sails 
filled. I could now contain myself no longer, and 
pointed her out to my fellow-sufferers. They immedi 
ately sprang to their feet, again indulging in the most 
extravagant demonstrations of joy, weeping, laughing in 
an idiotic manner, jumping, stamping upon the deck, 
tearing their hair, and praying and cursing by turns. I 
was so affected by their conduct, as well as by what I 
now considered a sure prospect of deliverance, that I 
could not refrain from joining in with their madness, and 
gave way to the impulses of my gratitude and ecstasy 
by lying and rolling on the deck, clapping my hands, 
shouting, and other similar acts, until I was suddenly 
called to my recollection, and once more to the extreme 



104 NARRATIVE OF 

of human misery and despair, by perceiving the ship all 
at once with her stern fully presented towards us, and 
steering in a direction nearly opposite to that in which I 
had at first perceived her. 

It was some time before I could induce my poor com 
panions to believe that this sad reverse in our pros 
pects had actually taken^place. They replied to all my 
assertions with a stare and a gesture implying that they 
were not to be deceived by such misrepresentations. 
The conduct of Augustus most sensibly affected me. In 
spite of all I could say or do to the contrary, he persisted 
in saying that the ship was rapidly nearing us, and in 
making preparations to go on board of her. Some sea 
weed floating by the brig, he maintained that it was the 
ship's boat, and endeavoured to throw himself upon it, 
howling and shrieking in the most heartrending manner, 
when I forcibly restrained him from thus casting himself 
into the sea. 

Having become in some degree pacified, we continued 
to watch the ship until we finally lost sight of her, the 
weather becoming hazy, with a light breeze springing up. 
As soon as she was entirely gone, Parker turned sud 
denly towards me with an expression 'of countenance 
which made me shudder. There was about him an air 
of self-possession which I had not noticed in him until 
now, and before he opened his lips my heart told me 
what he would say. He proposed, in a few words, that 
one of us should die to preserve the existence of the 
others. 



A. GORDON PYM. 105 



CHAPTER XII. 

I HAD, for some time past, dwelt upon the prospect of 
our being reduced to this last horrible extremity, and 
had secretly made up my mind to suffer death in any 
shape or under any circumstances rather than resort to 
such a course. Nor was this resolution in any degree 
weakened by the present intensity of hunger under which 
I laboured. The proposition had not been heard by 
either Peters or Augustus. I therefore took Parker 
aside ; and mentally praying to God for power to dissuade 
him from the horrible purpose he entertained, I expostu 
lated with him for a long time and in the most supplica 
ting manner, begging him in the name of everything 
which he held sacred, and urging him by every species 
of argument which the extremity of the case suggested, 
to abandon the idea, and not to mention it to either of the 
other two. 

He heard all I said without attempting to controvert 
any of my arguments, and I had begun to hope that he 
would be prevailed upon to do as I desired. But when 
I had ceased speaking, he said that he knew very well 
all I had said was true, and that to resort to such a 
course was the most horrible alternative which could 
enter into the mind of man ; but that he had now held 
out as long as human nature could be sustained ; that it 
was unnecessary for all to perish, when, by the death of 
one, it was possible, and even probable, that the rest 
might be finally preserved ; adding that I might save 
myself the trouble of trying to turn him from his purpose, 
his mind having been thoroughly made up on the subject 
even before the appearance of the ship, and that only 
her heaving in sight had prevented him from mentioning 
his intention at an earlier period. 

I now begged him, if he would not be prevailed upon 
to abandon his design, at least to defer it for another day, 



106 NARRATIVE OF 

when some vessel might come to our relief,- again reit 
erating every Argument I could devise, and which I 
thought likely to have influence with one of his rough 
nature. He said, in reply, that he had not spoken until 
the very last possible moment ; that he could exist no 
longer without sustenance of some kind ; and that there 
fore in another day his suggestion would be too late, as 
regarded himself at least. 

Finding that he was not to be moved by anything I 
could say in a mild tone, I now assumed a different de 
meanour, and told him that he must be aware I had suf 
fered less than any of us from our calamities ; that my 
health and strength, consequently, were at that moment 
far better than his own, or than that either of Peters or 
Augustus ; in short, that I was in a condition to have 
my own way by force if I found it necessary ; and that, 
if he attempted in any manner to acquaint the others 
with his bloody and cannibal designs, I would not hesi 
tate to throw him into the sea. Upon this he immedi 
ately seized me by the throat, and drawing a knife, made 
several ineffectual efforts to stab me in the stomach ; an 
atrocity which his excessive debility alone prevented him 
from accomplishing. In the mean time, being roused to 
a high pitch of anger, I forced him to the vessel's side, 
with the full intention of throwing him overboard. He 
was saved from this fate, however, by the interference 
of Peters, who now approached and separated us, asking 
the cause of the disturbance. This Parker told before 
I could find means in any manner to prevent him. 

The effect of his words was even more terrible than 
what I had anticipated. Both Augustus and Peters, 
who, it seems, had long secretly entertained the same 
fearful idea which Parker had been merely the first to 
broach, joined with him in his design, and insisted upon 
its being immediately carried into effect. I had calcu 
lated that one at least of the two former would be found 
still possessed of sufficient strength of mind to side 
with myself in resisting any attempt to execute so dread 
ful a purpose ; and, with the aid of either one of them, 
I had no fear of being able to prevent its accomplish- 



A. GORDON PYM. 107 

ment. Being disappointed in this expectation, it became 
absolutely necessary that I should attend to my own 
safety, as a further resistance on my part might possibly 
be considered by men in their frightful condition a suffi 
cient excuse for refusing me fair play in the tragedy that 
I knew would speedily be enacted. 

I now told them I was willing to submit to the propo 
sal, merely requesting a delay of about one hour, in 
order that the fog which had gathered around us might 
have an opportunity of lifting, when it was possible that 
the ship we had seen might be again in sight. After 
great difficulty I obtained from them a promise to wait 
thus long ; and, as I had anticipated (a breeze rapidly 
coming in), the fog lifted before the hour had expired, 
when, no vessel appearing in sight, we prepared to draw 
lots. 

It is with extreme reluctance that I dwell upon the 
appalling scene which ensued ; a scene which, with its 
minutest details, no after events have been able to efface 
in the slightest degree from my memory, arid whose 
stern recollection will imbitter every future moment of 
my existence. Let me run over this portion of my nar 
rative with as much haste as the nature of the events to 
be spoken of will permit. The only method we could 
devise for the terrific lottery, in which we were to take 
each a chance, was that of drawing straws. Small 
splinters of wood were made to answer our purpose, and 
it was agreed that I should be the holder. I retired to 
one end of the hulk, while my poor companions silently 
took up their station in the other with their backs turned 
towards me. The bitterest anxiety which I endured at 
any period of this fearful drama was while I occupied 
myself in the arrangement of the lots. There are few 
conditions into which man can possibly fall where he 
will not feel a deep interest in the preservation of his 
existence ; an interest momentarily increasing with the 
frailness of the tenure by which that existence may be 
held. But now that the silent, definite, and stern nature 
of the business in which I was engaged (so different 
from the tumultuous dangers of the storm or the gradu- 



108 NARRATIVE OF 

ally approaching horrors of famine) allowed me to re 
flect on the few chances I had of escaping the most ap 
palling of deaths a death for the most appalling of pur 
poses every particle of that energy which had so long 
buoyed me up departed like feathers before the wind, 
leaving me a helpless prey to the most abject and pitia 
ble terror. I could not, at first, even summon up suffi 
cient strength to tear and fit together the small splinters 
of wood, my fingers absolutely refusing their office, and 
my knees knocking violently against each other. My 
mind ran over rapidly a thousand absurd projects by 
which to avoid becoming a partner in the awful specula 
tion. I thought of falling on my knees to my compan 
ions, and entreating them to let me escape this necessity ; 
of suddenly rushing upon them, and, by putting one of 
them to death, of rendering the decision by lot useless 
in short, of everything but of going through with the mat 
ter I had in hand. At last, after wasting a long time in 
this imbecile conduct, I was recalled to my senses by 
the voice of Parker, who urged me to relieve them at 
once from the terrible anxiety they were enduring. 
Even then I could not bring myself to arrange the splin 
ters upon the spot, but thought over every species of fi 
nesse by which I could trick some one of my fellow- 
sufferers to draw the short straw, as it had been agreed 
that whoever drew the shortest of four splinters from 
my hand was to die for the preservation of the rest. 
Before any one condemn me for this apparent heartless- 
ness, let him be placed in a situation precisely similar to 
my own. 

At length delay was no longer possible, and, with a 
heart almost bursting from my bosom, I advanced to the 
region of the forecastle, where my companions were 
awaiting me. I held out my hand with the splinters, 
and Peters immediately drew. He was free his, at 
least, was not the shortest ; and there was now another 
chance against my escape. I summoned up all my 
strength, and passed the lots to Augustus. He also 
drew immediately, and he also was free ; and now, 
whether I should live or die, the chances were no more 



A. GORDON PYM. 109 

than precisely even. At this moment all the fierceness 
of the tiger possessed my bosom, and I felt towards my 
poor fellow-creature, Parker, the most intense.., the most 
diabolical hatred. But the feeling did not last ; and, at 
length, with a convulsive shudder and closed eyes, I 
held out the two remaining splinters towards him. It 
was full five minutes before he could summon resolution 
to draw, during which period of heartrending suspense 
I never once opened my eyes. Presently one of the 
two lots was quickly drawn from my hand. The decis 
ion was then over, yet I knew not whether it was for 
me or against me. No one spoke, and still I dared not 
satisfy myself by looking at the splinter I held. Peters 
at length took me by the hand, and I forced myself to look 
up, when I immediately saw by the countenance of Par 
ker that I was safe, and that he it was who had been 
doomed to suffer. Gasping for breath, I fell senseless 
to the deck. 

I recovered from my swoon in time to behold the 
consummation of the tragedy in the death of him who 
had been chiefly instrumental in bringing it about. He 
made no resistance whatever, and was stabbed in the 
back by Peters, when he fell instantly dead. I must 
not dwell upon the fearful repast which immediately en 
sued. Such things may be imagined, but words have 
no power to impress the mind with the exquisite horror of 
their reality. Let it suffice to say that, having in some 
measure appeased the raging thirst which consumed us 
by the blood of the victim, and having by common con 
sent taken off the hands, feet, and head, throwing them, 
together with the entrails, into the sea, we devoured the 
rest of the body, piecemeal, during the four ever mem 
orable days of the seventeenth eighteenth, nineteenth, and 
twentieth of the month. 

On the nineteenth, there coming on a smart shower 
which lasted fifteen or twenty minutes, we contrived to 
catch some water by means of a sheet which had been 
fished up from the cabin by our drag just after the gale. 
The quantity we took in all did not amount to more than 
K 



110 NARRATIVE OF 

half a gallon ; but even this scanty allowance supplied 
us with comparative strength and hope. 

On the twenty-first we were again reduced to the last 
necessity. The weather still remained warm and pleas 
ant, with occasional fogs and light breezes, most usually 
from N. to W. 

On the twenty-second, as we were sitting close hud 
dled together, gloomily revolving over our lamentable 
condition, there flashed through my mind all at once an 
idea which inspired me with a bright gleam of hope. I 
remembered that, when the foremast had been cut away, 
Peters, being in the windward chains, passed one of the 
axes into my hand, requesting me to put it, if possible, in 
a place of security, and that a few minutes before the last 
heavy sea struck the brig and filled her I had taken this 
axe into the forecastle, and laid it in one of the larboard 
berths. I now thought it possible that, by getting at 
this axe, we might cut through the deck over the store 
room, and thus readily supply ourselves with provis 
ions. 

When I communicated this project to my companions, 
they uttered a feeble shout of joy, and \ve all proceeded 
forthwith to the forecastle. The difficulty of descend 
ing here was greater than that of going down in the 
cabin, the opening being much smaller, for it will be re 
membered that the whole framework about the cabin 
companion-hatch had been carried away, whereas the 
forecastle-way, being a simple hatch of only about three 
feet square, had remained uninjured. I did not hesitate, 
however, to attempt the descent ; and, a rope being fast 
ened round my body as before, I plunged boldly in, feet 
foremost, made my way quickly to the berth, and, at the 
very first attempt, brought up the axe. It was hailed 
with the most ecstatic joy and triumph, and the ease 
with which it had been obtained was regarded as an omen 
of our ultimate preservation. 

We now commenced cutting at the deck with all the 
energy of rekindled hope, Peters and myself taking the 
axe by turns, Augustus's wounded arm not permitting him 
to aid us in any degree. As we were still so feeble as to be 



A. GORDON PYM. Ill 

scarcely able to stand unsupported, and could consequently 
work but a minute or two without resting, it soon became 
evident that many long hours would be requisite to ac 
complish our task that is, to cut an opening sufficiently 
large to admit of a free access to the storeroom. This 
consideration, however, did not discourage us ; and, 
working all night by the light of the moon, we suc 
ceeded in effecting our purpose by daybreak on the 
morning of the twenty-third. 

Peters now volunteered to go down ; and, having made 
all arrangements as before, he descended, and soon re 
turned, bringing up with him a small jar, which, to our 
great joy, proved to be full of olives. Having shared 
these among us, and devoured them with the greatest 
avidity, we proceeded to let him down again. This time 
lie succeeded beyond our utmost expectations, returning 
instantly with a large ham and a bottle of Madeira wine. 
Of the latter we each took a moderate sup, having 
learned by experience the pernicious consequences of 
indulging too freely. The ham, except about two pounds 
near the bone, was not in a condition to be eatea, having 
been entirely spoiled by the salt water. The sound part 
was divided among us. Peters and Augustus, not being 
able to restrain their appetite, swallowed theirs upon the 
instant ; but I was more cautious, and ate but a small 
portion of mine, dreading the thirst which I knew would 
ensue. We now rested a while from our labours, which 
had been intolerably severe. 

By noon, feeling somewhat strengthened and re 
freshed, we again renewed our attempt at getting up pro 
vision, Peters and myself going down alternately, and 
always with more or less success, until sundown. Du 
ring this interval we had the good fortune to bring up, 
altogether, four more small jars of olives, another ham, 
a carboy containing nearly three gallons of excellent 
Cape Madeira wine, and, what gave us still more delight, 
a small tortoise of the Gallipago breed, several of which 
had been taken on board by Captain Barnard, as the 
Grampus was leaving port, from the schooner Mary 
Pitts, just returned from a sealing voyage in the Pacific. 



112 NARRATIVE OF 

In a subsequent portion of this narrative I shall have 
frequent occasion to mention this species of tortoise. It 
is found principally, as most of my readers may know, 
in the group of islands called the Gallipagos, which, 
indeed, derive their name from the animal the Spanish 
word Gallipago meaning a fresh-water terapin. From 
the peculiarity of their shape and action they have been 
sometimes called the elephant tortoise. They are fre 
quently found of an enormous size. I have myself seen 
several which would weigh from twelve to fifteen hundred 
pounds, although I do not remember that any navigator 
speaks of having seen them weighing more than eight 
hundred. Their appearance is singular, and even dis 
gusting. Their steps are very slow, measured, and 
heavy, their bodies being carried about a foot from the 
ground. Their neck is long, and exceedingly slender ; 
from eighteen inches to two feet is a very common 
length, and I killed one, where the distance from the 
shoulder to the extremity of the head was no less than 
three feet ten inches. The head has a striking resem 
blance to that of a serpent. They can exist without 
food for an almost incredible length of time, instances 
having been known where they have been thrown into 
the hold of a vessel and lain two years without nourish 
ment of any kind being as fat, and, in every respect, in 
as good order at the expiration of the time as when they 
were first put in. In one particular these extraordinary 
animals bear a resemblance to the dromedary, or camel 
of the desert. In a bag at the root of the neck they 
carry with them a constant supply of water. In some 
instances, upon killing them after a full year's depriva 
tion of all nourishment, as much as three gallons of per 
fectly sweet and fresh water have been found in their 
bags. Their food is chiefly wild parsley and celery, 
with purslain, sea-kelp, and prickly pears, upon which 
latter vegetable they thrive wonderfully, a great quantity 
of it being usually found on the hillsides near the shore 
wherever the animal itself is discovered. They are ex 
cellent and highly nutritious food, and have, no doubt, 
been the means of preserving the lives of thousands of 



A. GORDON PYM. 113 

seamen employed in the whale-fishery and other pursuits 
in the Pacific. 

The one which we had the good fortune to bring up 
from the storeroom was not of a large size, weighing 
probably sixty-five or seventy pounds. It was a female, 
and in excellent condition, being exceedingly fat, and 
having more than a quart of limpid and sweet water in 
its bag. This was indeed a treasure ; and, falling on our 
knees with, one accord, we returned fervent thanks to God 
for so seasonable a relief. 

We had great difficulty in getting the animal up 
through the opening, as its struggles were fierce and its 
strength prodigious. It was upon the point of making 
its escape from Peters's grasp, and slipping back into 
the water, when Augustus, throwing a rope with a slip 
knot around its throat, held it up in this manner until I 
jumped into the hole by the side of Peters, and assisted 
him in lifting it out. 

The water we drew carefully from the bag into the 
jug, which, it will be remembered, had been brought up 
before from the cabin. Having done this, we broke off 
the neck of a bottle so as to form, with the cork, a kind 
of glass, holding not quite half a gill. We then each 
drank one of these measures full, and resolved to limit 
ourselves to this quantity per day as long as it should 
hold out. 

During the last two or three days, the weather having 
been dry and pleasant, the bedding we had obtained 
from the cabin, as well as our clothing, had become thor 
oughly dry, so that we passed this night (that of the 
twenty-third) in comparative comfort, enjoying a tranquil 
repose, after having supped plentifully on olives and ham, 
with a small allowance of the wine. Being afraid of 
losing some of our stores overboard during the night, in 
the event of a breeze springing up, we secured them as 
well as possible with cordage to the fragments of the 
windlass. Our tortoise, which we were anxious to pre 
serve alive as long as we could, we threw on his back, 
and otherwise carefully fastened. 
K2 



114 NARRATIVE OF 

, 



CHAPTER XIII. 

JULY 24. This morning saw us wonderfully recruit 
ed in spirits and strength. Notwithstanding the peril 
ous situation in which we were still placed, ignorant of 
our position, although certainly at a great distance from 
land, without more food than would last us for a fort 
night even with great care, almost entirely without water, 
and floating about at the mercy of every wind and wave, 
on the merest wreck in the world, still the infinitely 
more terrible distresses and dangers from which we had 
so lately and so providentially been delivered caused us 
to regard what we now endured as but little more than 
an ordinary evil so strictly comparative is either good 
or ill. 

At sunrise we were preparing to renew our attempts 
at getting up something from the storeroom, when, a 
smart shower coming on, with some lightning, we turned 
our attention to the catching of water by means of the 
sheet we had used before for this purpose. We had no 
other means of collecting the rain than by holding the 
sheet spread out with one of the forechain-plates in the 
middle of it. The water, thus conducted to the centre, 
was drained through into our jug. We had nearly filled 
it in this manner, when, a heavy squall coming on from 
the northward, obliged us to desist, as the hulk began 
once more to roll so violently that we could no longer 
keep our feet. We now went forward, and, lashing our 
selves securely to the remnant of the windlass as before, 
awaited the event with far more calmness than could 
have been anticipated, or would have been imagined pos 
sible under the circumstances. At noon the wind had 
freshened into a two-reef breeze, and by night into a stiff 
gale, accompanied with a tremendously heavy swell. Ex 
perience having taught us, however, the best method of 
arranging our lashings, we weathered this dreary night 



A. GORDON PYM. 115 

in tolerable security, although thoroughly drenched at 
almost every instant by the sea, and in momentary dread 
of being washed off. Fortunately, the weather was so 
warm as to render the water rather grateful than other 
wise. 

July 25. This morning the gale had diminished to a 
mere ten-knot breeze, and the sea had gone down with 
it so considerably that we were able to keep ourselves 
dry upon the deck. To our great grief, however, we 
found that two jars of our olives, as well as the whole of 
our ham, had been washed overboard, in spite of the 
careful manner in which they had been fastened. We 
determined not to kill the tortoise as yet, and contented 
ourselves for the present with a breakfast on a few of 
the olives, and a measure of water each, which latter we 
mixed, half and half, with wine, rinding great relief and 
strength from the mixture, without the distressing intoxi 
cation which had ensued upon drinking the Port. The 
sea was still far too rough for the renewal of our efforts 
at getting up provision from the storeroom. Several ar 
ticles, of no importance to us in our present situation, 
floated up through the opening during the day, and were 
immediately washed overboard. We also now observed 
that the hulk lay more along than ever, so that we could 
not stand an instant without lashing ourselves. On this 
account we passed a gloomy and uncomfortable day. 
At noon the sun appeared to be nearly vertical, and we 
had no doubt that we had been driven down by the long 
succession of northward and northwesterly winds into 
the near vicinity of the equator. Towards evening saw 
several sharks, and were somewhat alarmed by the au 
dacious manner in which an enormously large one ap 
proached us. At one time, a lurch throwing the deck 
very far beneath the water, the monster actually swam 
in upon us, floundering for some moments just over the 
companion-hatch, and striking Peters violently with his 
tail. A heavy sea at length hurled him overboard, much 
to our relief. In moderate weather we might have easily 
captured him. 

July 26. This morning, the wind having greatly 



116 NARRATIVE OF 

abated, and the sea not being very rough, we determined 
to renew our exertions in the storeroom. After a great 
deal of hard labour during the whole day, we found that 
nothing further was to be expected from this quarter, the 
partitions of the room having been stove during the night, 
and its contents swept into the hold. This discovery, 
as may be supposed, filled us with despair. 

July 27. The sea nearly smooth, with a light wind, 
and still from the northward and westward. The sun 
coming out hotly in the afternoon, we occupied our 
selves in drying our clothes. Found great relief from 
thirst, and much comfort otherwise, by bathing in the sea ; 
in this, however, we were forced to use great caution, 
being afraid of sharks, several of which were seen swim 
ming around the brig during the day. 

July 28. Good weather still. The brig now began 
to lie along so alarmingly that we feared she would 
eventually roll bottom up. Prepared ourselves as well 
as we could for this emergency, lashing our tortoise, 
water-jug, and two remaining jars of olives as far as pos 
sible over to the windward, placing them outside the 
hull, below th-3 main-chains. The sea very smooth all 
day, with little or no wind. 

July 29. A continuance of the same weather. Au 
gustus's wounded arm began to evince symptoms of 
mortification. He complained of drowsiness and exces 
sive thirst, but no acute pain. Nothing could be done 
for his relief beyond rubbing his wounds with a little of 
the vinegar from the olives, and from this no benefit 
seemed to be experienced. We did everything in our 
power for his comfort, and trebled his allowance of 
water. 

July 30. An excessively hot day, with no wind. An 
enormous shark kept close by the hulk during the whole 
of the forenoon. We made several unsuccessful at 
tempts to capture him by means of a noose. Augustus 
much worse, and evidently sinking as much from want 
of proper nourishment as from the effect of his wounds. 
He constantly prayed to be released from his sufferings, 
wishing for nothing but death. This evening we ate the 



A. GORDON PYM. 117 

last of our olives, and found the water in our jug so 
putrid that we could not swallow it at all without the 
addition of wine. Determined to kill our tortoise in the 
morning. 

July 31. After a night of excessive anxiety and fa 
tigue, owing to the position of the hulk, we set about 
killing and cutting up our tortoise. He proved to be 
much smaller than we had supposed, although in good 
condition the whole meat about him not amounting to 
more than ten pounds. With a view of preserving a 
portion of this as long as possible, we cut it into fine 
pieces, and filled with them our three remaining olive- 
jars and the wine-bottle (all of which had been kept), 
pouring in afterward the vinegar from the olives. In 
this manner we put away about three pounds of the tor 
toise, intending not to touch it until we had consumed 
the rest. We concluded to restrict ourselves to about 
four ounces of the meat per day ; the whole would thus 
last us thirteen days. A brisk shower, with severe thun 
der and lightning, came on about dusk, but lasted so 
short a time that we only succeeded in catching about 
half a pint of water. The whole of this, by common 
consent, was given to Augustus, who now appeared to 
be in the last extremity. He drank the water from the 
sheet as we caught it (we holding it above him as he 
lay so as to let it run into his mouth), for we had now 
nothing left capable of holding water, unless we had 
chosen to empty out our wine from the carboy, or the 
stale water from the jug. Either of these expedients 
would have been resorted to had the shower lasted. 

The sufferer seemed to derive but little benefit from 
the draught. His arm was completely black from the 
wrist to the shoulder, and his feet were like ice. We 
expected every moment to see him breathe his last. He 
was frightfully emaciated ; so much so that, although he 
weighed a hundred and twenty-seven pounds upon his 
leaving Nantucket, he now did not weigh more than 
forty or fifty at the farthest. His eyes were sunk far in 
his head, being scarcely perceptible, and the skin of his 
cheeks hung so loosely as to prevent his masticating any 



118 NARRATIVE OF 

food, or even swallowing any liquid, without great diffi 
culty. 

August 1. A continuance of the same calm weather, 
with an oppressively hot sun. Suffered exceedingly 
from thirst, the water in the jug being absolutely putrid 
and swarming with vermin. We contrived, nevertheless, 
to swallow a portion of it by mixing it with wine our 
thirst, however, was but little abated. We found more 
relief by bathing in the sea, but could not avail ourselves 
of this expedient except at long intervals, on account of 
the continual presence of sharks. We now saw clearly 
that Augustus could not be saved ; that he was evidently 
dying. We could do nothing to relieve his sufferings, 
which appeared to be great. About twelve o'clock he 
expired in strong convulsions, and without having spoken 
for several hours. His death filled us with the most 
gloomy forebodings, and had so great an effect upon our 
spirits that we sat motionless by the corpse during the 
whole day, and never addressed each other except in a 
whisper. It was not until some time after dark that we 
took courage to get up and throw the body overboard. 
It was then loathsome beyond expression, and so far de 
cayed that, as Peters attempted to lift it, an entire leg 
came off in his grasp. As the mass of putrefaction 
slipped over the vessel's side into the water, the glare of 
phosphoric light with which it was surrounded plainly 
discovered to us seven or eight large sharks, the clash 
ing of whose horrible teeth, as their prey was torn to 
pieces among them, might have been heard at the distance 
of a mile. We shrunk within ourselves in the extremity 
of horror at the sound. 

August 2. The same fearfully calm and hot weather. 
The dawn found us in a state of pitiable dejection as 
well as bodily exhaustion. The water in the jug 
was now absolutely useless, being a thick gelatinous 
mass ; nothing but frightful-looking worms mingled with 
slime. We threw it out, and washed the jug well in the 
sea, afterward pouring a little vinegar in it from our bot 
tles of pickled tortoise. Our thirst could now scarcely 
be endured, and we tried in vain to relieve it by wine, 



A. GORDON PYM. 119 

which seemed only to add fuel to the flame, and excited 
us to a high degree of intoxication. We afterward en 
deavoured to relieve our sufferings by mixing the wine 
with seawater ; but this instantly brought about the most 
violent retchings, so that we never again attempted it. 
During the whole day we anxiously sought an opportu 
nity of bathing, but to no purpose ; for the hulk was now 
entirely besieged on all sides with sharks no doubt the 
identical monsters who had devoured our poor compan 
ion on the evening before, and who were in momentary 
expectation of another similar feast. This circumstance 
occasioned us the most bitter regret, and filled us with 
the most depressing and melancholy forebodings. We 
had experienced indescribable relief in bathing, and to 
have this resource cut off in so frightful a manner was 
more than we could bear. Nor, indeed, were we alto 
gether free from the apprehension of immediate danger, 
for the least slip or false movement would have thrown 
us at once within reach of these voracious fish, who fre 
quently thrust themselves directly upon us, swimming 
up to leeward. No shouts or exertions on our part 
seemed to alarm them. Even when one of the largest 
was struck with an axe by Peters, and much wounded, 
he persisted in his attempts to push in where we were. 
A cloud came up at dusk, but, to our extreme anguish, 
passed over without discharging itself. It is quite im 
possible to conceive our sufferings from thirst at this 
period. We passed a sleepless night, both on this ac 
count and through dread of the sharks. 

August 3. No prospect of relief, and the brig lying still 
more and more along, so that now we could not maintain 
a footing upon deck at all. Busied ourselves in secu 
ring our wine and tortoise-meat, so that we might not 
lose them in the event of our rolling over. Got out two 
stout spikes from the forechains, arid, by means of the 
axe, drove them into the hull to windward within a 
couple of feet of the water ; this not being very far from 
the keel, as we were nearly upon our beam-ends. To 
these spikes we now lashed our provisions, as being 
more secure than their former position beneath the 



120 NARRATIVE OF 

chains. Suffered great agony from thirst during the 
whole day no chance of bathing on account of the 
sharks, which never left us for a moment. Found it im 
possible to sleep. 

August 4. A little before daybreak we perceived that 
the hulk was heeling over, and aroused ourselves to pre 
vent being thrown off by the movement. At first the 
roll was slow and gradual, and we contrived to clamber 
over to windward very well, having taken the precaution 
to leave ropes hanging from the spikes we had driven in 
for the provision. But we had not calculated sufficiently 
upon the acceleration of the impetus ; for presently the 
heel became too violent to allow of our keeping pace 
with it ; and, before either of us knew what was to hap 
pen, we found ourselves hurled furiously into the sea, 
and struggling several fathoms beneath the surface, with 
the huge hull immediately above us. 

In going under the water I had been obliged to let go 
my hold upon the rope ; and finding that I was com 
pletely beneath the vessel, and my strength utterly ex 
hausted, I scarcely made a struggle for life, and resigned 
myself, in a few seconds, to die. But liere again I was 
deceived, not having taken into consideration the natural 
rebound of the hull to windward. The whirl of the 
water upward, which the vessel occasioned in rolling 
partially back, brought me to the surface still more vio 
lently than I had been plunged beneath. Upon coming 
up, I found myself about twenty yards from the hulk, as 
near as I could judge. She was lying keel up, rocking 
furiously from side to side, and the sea in all directions 
around was much agitated, and full of strong whirlpools. 
I could see nothing of Peters. An oil-cask was floating 
within a few feet of me, and various other articles from 
the brig were scattered about. 

My principal terror was now on account of the sharks, 
which I knew to be in my vicinity. In order to deter 
these, if possible, from approaching me, I splashed the 
water vigorously with both hands and feet as I swam 
towards the hulk, creating a body of foam. I have no 
doubt that to this expedient, simple as it was, I was in- 



A. GORDON PYM. 121 

debted for my preservation ; for the sea all around the 
brig, just before her rolling over, was so crowded with 
these monsters, that I must have been, and really was, in 
actual contact with some of them during my progress. 
By great good fortune, however, I reached the side of 
the vessel in safety, although so utterly weakened by the 
violent exertion I had used that I should never have 
been able to get upon it but for the timely assistance of 
Peters, who now, to my great joy, made his appearance 
(having scrambled up to the keel from the opposite side 
of the hull), and threw me the end of a rope one of 
those which had been attached to the spikes. 

Having barely escaped this danger, our attention was 
now directed to the dreadful imminency of another ; that 
of absolute starvation. Our whole stock of provision 
had been swept overboard in spite of all our care in se 
curing it ; and seeing no longer the remotest possibility 
of obtaining more, we gave way both of us to despair, 
weeping aloud like children, and neither of us attempt 
ing to offer consolation to the other. Such weakness 
can scarcely be conceived, and to those who have never 
been similarly situated will, no doubt, appear unnatural ; 
but it must be remembered that our intellects were so 
entirely disordered by the long course of privation and 
terror to which we had been subjected, that we could not 
justly be considered, at that period, in the light of ra 
tional beings. In subsequent perils, nearly as great, if 
not greater, I bore up with fortitude against all the evils 
of my situation, and Peters, it will be seen, evinced a 
stoical philosophy nearly as incredible as his present 
childlike supineness and imbecility the mental condition 
made the difference. 

The overturning of the brig, even with the consequent 
loss of the wine and turtle, would not, in fact, have ren 
dered our situation more deplorable than before, except 
for the disappearance of the bedclothes by which we 
had been hitherto enabled to catch rainwater, and of the 
jug in which we had kept it when caught ; for we found 
the whole bottom, from within two or three feet of the 
bends as far as the keel, together with the keel itself; 
L 



122 NARRATIVE OF 

thickly covered with large barnacles, which proved to be 
excellent and highly nutritious food. Thus, in two im 
portant respects, the accident we had so greatly dreaded 
proved a benefit rather than an injury ; it had opened to 
us a supply of provisions, which we could not have ex 
hausted, using it moderately, in a month ; and it had 
greatly contributed to our comfort as regards position, 
we being much more at our ease, and in infinitely less 
danger, than before. 

The difficulty, however, of now obtaining water 
blinded us to all the benefits of the change in our condi 
tion. That we might be ready to avail ourselves, as far 
as possible, of any shower which might fall, we took off 
our shirts, to make use of them as we had of the sheets 
not hoping, of course, to get more in this way, even 
under the most favourable circumstances, than half a 
gill at a time. No signs of a cloud appeared during the 
day, and the agonies of our thirst were nearly intolerable 
At night Peters obtained about an hour's disturbed sleep, 
but my intense sufferings would not permit me to close 
my eyes for a single moment. 

August 5. To-day, a gentle breeze springing up car 
ried us through a vast quantity of seaweed, among which 
we were so fortunate as to find eleven small crabs, 
which afforded us several delicious meals. Their shells 
being quite soft, we ate them entire, and found that they 
irritated our thirst far less than the barnacles. Seeing 
no trace of sharks among the seaweed, we also ventured 
to bathe, and remained in the water for four or five hours, 
during which we experienced a very sensible diminution 
of our thirst. Were greatly refreshed, and spent the 
night somewhat more comfortably than before, both of us 
snatching a little sleep. 

August 6. This day we were blessed by a brisk and 
continual rain, lasting from about noon until after dark. 
Bitterly did we now regret the loss of our jug and car 
boy ; for, in spite of the little means we had of catching 
the water, we might have filled one, if not both of them. 
As it was, we contrived to satisfy the cravings of thirst 
by suffering the shirts to become saturated, and then 



A. GORDON PYM. 123 

wringing them so as to let the grateful fluid trickle into 
our mouths. In this occupation we passed the entire 
day. 

August 7. Just at daybreak we both at the same in 
stant descried a sail to the eastward, and evidently com 
ing towards us ! We hailed the glorious sight with a 
long, although feeble shout of rapture ; and began in 
stantly to make every signal in our power, by flaring the 
shirts in the air, leaping as high as our weak condition 
would permit, and even by hallooing with all the strength 
of our lungs, although the vessel could not have been 
less than fifteen miles distant. However, she still con 
tinued to near our hulk, and we felt that, if she but held 
her present course, she must eventually come so close 
as to perceive us. In about an hour after we first dis 
covered her we could clearly see the people on her 
decks. She was a long, low, and rakish-looking topsail 
schooner, with a black ball in her foretopsail, and had, 
apparently, a full crew. We now became alarmed, for 
we could hardly imagine it possible that she did not ob 
serve us, and were apprehensive that she meant to leave 
us to perish as we were an act of fiendish barbarity, 
which, however incredible it may appear, has been re 
peatedly perpetrated at sea, under circumstances very 
nearly similar, and by beings who were regarded as be 
longing to the human species.* In this instance, however, 

* The case of the brig Polly, of Boston, is one so much in point, 
and her fate, in many respects, so remarkably similar to our own, 
that I cannot forbear alluding to it here. This vessel, of one hun 
dred and thirty tons burden, sailed from Boston, with a cargo of 
lumber and provisions, for Santa Croix, on the twelfth of December, 
1811, under the command of Captain Casneau. There were eight 
souls on board besides the captain the mate, four seamen, and the 
cook, together with a Mr. Hunt, and a negro girl belonging to him. 
On the fifteenth, having cleared the shoal of Georges, she sprung a 
leak in a gale of wind from the southeast, and was finally capsized ; 
but, the mast going by the board, she afterward righted. They re 
mained in this situation, without fire, and with very little provision, 
for the period of one hundred and ninety-one days (from December the 
fifteenth to June the twentieth) when Captain Casneau and Sam 
uel Badger, the only survivers, were taken off the wreck by the 
Fame, of Hull, Captain Featherstone, bound home from Rio Janeiro. 
When picked up they were in latitude 28 N., longitude 13 W., having 
drifted above two thousand miles. On the ninth of July the Fame fell 



124 NARRATIVE OF 

by the mercy of God, we were destined to be most hap 
pily deceived ; for presently we were aware of a sudden 
commotion on the deck of the stranger, who immediately 
afterward run up a British flag, and, hauling her wind, 
bore up directly upon us. In half an hour more we 
found ourselves in her cabin. She proved to be the 
Jane Guy, of Liverpool, Captain Guy, bound on a sealing 
and trading voyage to the South Seas and Pacific. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE Jane Guy was a fine-looking topsail schooner of 
a hundred and eighty tons burden. She was unusually 
sharp in the bows, and on a wind, in moderate weather, 
the fastest sailer I have ever seen. Her qualities, how 
ever, as a rough sea-boat, were not so good, and her 
draught of water was by far too great for the trade to 
which she was destined. For this peculiar service a 
larger vessel, and one of a light proportionate draught, is 
desirable say a vessel of from thjee to three hundred 
and fifty tons. She should be barque-rigged, and in 
other respects of a different construction from the usual 
South Sea ships. It is absolutely necessary that she 
should be well armed. She should have, say ten or 
twelve twelve pound carronades, and two or three long 
twelves, with brass blunderbusses, and water-tight arm- 
chests for each top. Her anchors and cables should be 
of far greater strength than is required for any other 

in with the brig Dromeo, Captain Perkins, who landed the two suf 
ferers in Kennebeck. The narrative from which we gather these 
details ends in the following words. 

" It is natural to inquire how they could float such a vast distance, 
upon the most frequented part of the Atlantic, and not be discovered 
all this time. They were passed by more than a dozen sail, one of which 
came so nigh them that they could distinctly see the people on deck and on 
the rigging looking at them ; but, to the inexpressible disappointment of the 
starving and freezing men, they stifled the dictates of compassion, hoisted 
sail and cruelly abandoned them to their fate** 



A. GORDON PYM. 125 

species of trade, and, above all, her crew should be nu 
merous and efficient not less, for such a vessel as I 
have described, than fifty or sixty able-bodied men. 
The Jane Guy had a crew of thirty-five, all able seamen, 
besides the captain and mate, but she was not altogether 
as well armed or otherwise equipped as a navigator ac 
quainted with the difficulties and dangers of the trade 
could have desired. 

Captain Guy was a gentleman of great urbanity of 
manner, and of considerable experience in the southern 
traffic, to which he had devoted a great portion of his 
life. He was deficient, however, in energy, and, conse 
quently, in that spirit of enterprise which is here so ab 
solutely requisite. He was part owner of the vessel in 
which he sailed, and was invested with discretionary 
powers to cruise in the South Seas for any cargo which 
might come most readily to hand. He had on board, as 
usual in such voyages, beads, looking-glasses, tinder- 
works, axes, hatchets, saws, adzes, planes, chisels, 
gouges, gimlets, files, spokeshaves, rasps, hammers, 
nails, knives, scissors, razors, needles, thread, crockery- 
ware, calico, trinkets, and other similar articles. 

The schooner sailed from Liverpool on the tenth of 
July, crossed the Tropic of Cancer on the twenty-fifth, in 
longitude twenty degrees west, and reached Sal, one of 
the Cape Verd Islands, on the twenty-ninth, where she 
took in salt and other necessaries for the voyage. On 
.the third of August she left the Cape Verds and steered 
southwest, stretching over towards the coast of Brazil 
so as to cross the equator between the meridians of 
twenty-eight and thirty degrees west longitude. This 
is the course usually taken by vessels bound from Eu 
rope to the Cape of Good Hope, or by that route to the 
East Indies. By proceeding thus they avoid the calms 
and strong contrary currents which continually prevail 
on the coast of Guinea, while, in the end, it is found to 
be the shortest track, as westerly winds are never want 
ing afterward by which to reach the Cape. It was Cap 
tain Guy's intention to make his first stoppage at Ker- 
jguelen's Land I hardly know for what reason. On the 
L2 



126 NARRATIVE OP 

day we were picked up the schooner was off Cape St. 
Roque, in longitude 31 W. ; so that, when found, we 
had drifted probably, from north to south, not less than 
five-and-twenty degrees. 

On board the Jane Guy we were treated with all the 
kindness our distressed situation demanded. In about 
a fortnight, during which time we continued steering to 
the southeast, with gentle breezes and fine weather, both 
Peters and myself recovered entirely from the effects of 
our late privation and dreadful suffering, and we began 
to remember what had passed rather as a frightful dream 
from which we had been happily awakened, than as 
events which had taken place in sober and naked reality. 
I have since found that this species of partial oblivion is 
usually brought about by sudden transition, whether from 
joy to sorrow or from sorrow to joy the degree of for- 
getfulness being proportioned to the degree of difference 
in the exchange. Thus, in my own case, I now feel it 
impossible to realize the full extent of the misery which 
I endured during the days spent upon the hulk. The 
incidents are remembered, but not the feelings which the 
incidents elicited at the time of their occurrence. I only 
know that, when they did occur, I then thought human 
nature could sustain nothing more of agony. 

We continued our voyage for some weeks without 
any incidents of greater moment than the occasional 
meeting with whaling-ships, and more frequently with 
the black or right whale, so called in contradistinction 
to the spermaceti. These, however, were chiefly found 
south of the twenty-fifth parallel. On the sixteenth of 
September, being in the vicinity of the Cape of Good 
Hope, the schooner encountered her first gale of any vi 
olence since leaving Liverpool. In this neighbourhood, 
but more frequently to the south and east of the promon 
tory (we were to the westward), navigators have often to 
contend with storms from the northward which rage with 
great fury. They always bring with them a heavy sea, 
and one of their most dangerous features is the instanta 
neous chopping round of the wind, an occurrence almost 
certain to take place during the greatest force of th.* 



A. GORDON PYM. 127 

gale. A perfect hurricane will be blowing at one mo 
ment from the northward or northeast, and in the next 
not a breath of wind will be felt in that direction, while 
from the southwest it will come out all at once with a 
violence almost inconceivable. A bright spot to the 
southward is the sure forerunner of the change, and ves 
sels are thus enabled to take the proper precautions. 

It was about six in the morning when the blow came 
on with a white squall, and, as usual, from the northward. 
By eight it had increased very much, and brought down 
upon us one of the most tremendous seas I had then 
<ever beheld. Everything had been made as snug as 
possible, but the schooner laboured excessively, and 
gave evidence of her bad qualities as a seaboat, pitching 
her forecastle under at every plunge, and with the great 
est difficulty struggling up from one wave before she 
was buried in another. Just before sunset the bright 
spot for which we had been on the lookout made its ap 
pearance in the southwest, and in an hour afterward we 
perceived the little headsail we carried flapping listless 
ly against the mast. In two minutes more, in spite of 
every preparation, we were hurled on our beam-ends as 
if by magic, and a perfect wilderness of foam made a 
clear breach over us as we lay. The blow from the 
southwest, however, luckily proved to be nothing more 
than a squall, and we had the good fortune to right the 
vessel without the loss of a spar. A heavy cross sea 
gave us great trouble for a few hours after this, but to 
wards morning we found ourselves in nearly as good 
condition as before the gale. Captain Guy considered 
that he had made an escape little less than miraculous. 

On the thirteenth of October we came in sight of 
Prince Edward's Island, in latitude 46 53' S., longitude 
37 46' E. Two days afterward we found ourselves 
near Possession Island, and presently passed the islands 
of Crozet, in latitude 42 59' S., longitude 48 E. On 
the eighteenth we made Kerguelen's or Desolation Island, 
in the Southern Indian Ocean, and came to anchor in 
Christmas Harbour, having four fathoms of water. 

This island, or rather group of islands, bears south- 



128 NARRATIVE OF 

east from the Cape of Good Hope, and is distant there 
from nearly eight hundred leagues. It was first discov 
ered in 1772, by the Baron de Kergulen, or Kerguelen, 
a Frenchman, who, thinking the land to form a portion 
of an extensive southern continent, carried home infor 
mation to that effect, which produced much excitement 
at the time. The government, taking the matter up, 
sent the baron back in the following year for the purpose 
of giving his new discovery a critical examination, when 
the mistake was discovered. In 1777, Captain Cook 
fell in with the same group, and gave to the principal 
one the name of Desolation Island, a title which it cer 
tainly well deserves. Upon approaching the land, how 
ever, the navigator might be induced to suppose other 
wise, as the sides of most of the hills, from September 
to March, are clothed with very brilliant verdure. This 
deceitful appearance is caused by a small plant resem 
bling saxifrage, which is abundant, growing in large 
patches on a species of crumbling moss. Besides this 
plant there is scarcely a sign of vegetation on the island, 
if we except some coarse rank grass near the harbour, 
some lichen, and a shrub which bears resemblance to a 
cabbage shooting into seed, and which has a bitter and 
acrid taste. 

The face of the country is hilly, although none of the 
hills can be called lofty. Their tops are perpetually 
covered with snow. There are several harbours, of 
which Christmas Harbour is the most convenient. It is 
the first to be met with on the northeast side of the 
island after passing Cape Francois, which forms the 
northern shore, and, by its peculiar shape, serves to dis 
tinguish the harbour. Its projecting point terminates in 
a high rock, through which is a large hole, forming a 
natural arch. The entrance is in latitude 48 C 40' S., 
longitude 69 6' E. Passing in here, good anchorage 
may be found under the shelter of several small islands, 
which form a sufficient .protection from all easterly 
winds. Proceeding on eastwardly from this anchorage 
you come to Wasp Bay, at the head of the harbour. 
This is a small basin, completely landlocked, into which 



A. GORDON PYM. 129 

you can go with four fathoms, and find anchorage in 
from ten to three, hard clay bottom. A ship might lie 
here with her best bower ahead all the year round with 
out risk. To the westward, at the head of Wasp Bay, 
is a small stream of excellent water, easily procured. 

Some seal of the fur and hair species are still to be 
found on Kerguelen's Island, and sea elephants abound. 
The feathered tribes are discovered in great numbers. 
Penguins are very plenty, and of these there are four dif 
ferent kinds. The royal penguin, so called from its size 
and beautiful plumage, is the largest. The upper part 
of the body is usually gray, sometimes of a lilach tint ; 
the under portion of the purest white imaginable. The 
head is of a glossy and most brilliant black, the feet 
also. The chief beauty of the plumage, however, con 
sists in two broad stripes of a gold colour, which pass 
along from the head to the breast. The bill is long, 
and either pink or bright scarlet. These birds walk 
erect, with a stately carriage. They carry their heads 
high, with their wings drooping like two arms, and, as 
their tails project from their body in a line with the legs, 
the resemblance to a human figure is very striking, and 
would be apt to deceive the spectator at a casual glance 
or in the gloom of the evening. The royal penguins 
which we met with on Kerguelen's Land were rather 
larger than a goose. The other kinds are the macaroni, 
the jackass, and the rookery penguin. These are much 
smaller, less beautiful in plumage, and different in other 
respects. 

Besides the penguin many other birds are here to be 
found, among which may be mentioned seahens, blue 
peterels, teal, ducks, Port Egmont hens, shags, Cape pi 
geons, the nelly, seaswallows, terns, seagulls, Mother 
Carey's chickens, Mother Carey's geese, or the great pe- 
terel, and, lastly, the albatross. 

The great peterel is as large as the common albatross, 
and is carnivorous. It is frequently called the break- 
bones, or osprey peterel. They are not at all shy, and, 
when properly cooked, are palatable food. In flying 
they sometimes sail very close to the surface of the 



130 NARRATIVE OF 

water, with the wings expanded, without appearing to 
move them in the least degree, or make any exertion 
with them whatever. 

The albatross is one of the largest and fiercest of the 
South Sea birds. It is of the gull species, and takes its 
prey on the wing, never coming on land except for the 
purpose of breeding. Between this bird and the penguin 
the most singular friendship exists. Their nests are 
constructed with great uniformity, upon a plan concerted 
between the two species that of the albatross being 
placed in the centre of a little square formed by the 
nests of four penguins. Navigators have agreed in cal 
ling an assemblage of such encampments a rookery. 
These rookeries have been often described, but, as my 
readers may not all have seen these descriptions, and as 
I shall have occasion hereafter to speak of the penguin 
and albatross, it will not be amiss to say something here 
of their mode of building and living. 

When the season for incubation arrives, the birds as 
semble in vast numbers, and for some days appear to be 
deliberating upon the proper course to be pursued. At 
length they proceed to action. A level piece of ground 
is selected, of suitable extent, usually comprising three 
or four acres, and situated as near the sea as possible, 
being still beyond its reach. The spot is chosen with 
reference to its evenness of surface, and that is preferred 
which is the least encumbered with stones. This mat 
ter being arranged, the birds proceed, with one accord, 
and actuated apparently by one mind, to trace out, with 
mathematical accuracy, either a square or other parallel 
ogram, as may best suit the nature of the ground, and of 
just sufficient size to accommodate easily all the birds 
assembled, and no more in this particular seeming de 
termined upon preventing the access of future stragglers 
who have not participated in the labour of the encamp 
ment. One side of the place thus marked out runs par 
allel with the water's edge, and is left open for ingress 
or egress. 

Having defined the limits of the rookery, the colony 
now begin to clear it of every species of rubbish, pick' 



A. GORDON PYM. 131 

ing up stone by stone, and carrying them outside of the 
lines, and close by them, so as to form a wall on the 
three inland sides. Just within this wall a perfectly 
level and smooth walk is formed, from six to eight feet 
wide, and extending around the encampment thus serv 
ing the purpose of a general promenade. 

The next process is to partition out the whole area into 
small squares exactly equal in size. This is done by 
forming narrow paths, very smooth, and crossing each 
other at right angles throughout the entire extent of the 
rookery. At each intersection of these paths the nest 
of an albatross is constructed, and a penguin's nest in the 
centre of each square thus every penguin is surrounded 
by four albatrosses, and each albatross by a like number 
of penguins. The penguin's nest consists of a hole in 
the earth, very shallow, being only just of sufficient 
depth to keep her single egg from rolling. The alba 
tross is somewhat less simple in her arrangements, erect 
ing a hillock about a foot high and two in diameter. 
This is made of earth, seaweed, and shells. On its 
summit she builds her nest. 

The birds take especial care never to leave their nests 
unoccupied for an instant during the period of incuba 
tion, or, indeed, until the young progeny are sufficiently 
strong to take care of themselves. While the male is 
absent at sea in search of food, the female remains on 
duty, and it is only upon the return of her partner that 
she ventures abroad. The eggs are never left uncov 
ered at all while one bird leaves the nest, the other 
nestling in by its side. This precaution is rendered ne-: 
cessary by the thievish propensities prevalent in the 
rookery, the inhabitants making no scruple to purloin 
each other's eggs at every good opportunity. 

Although there are some rookeries in which the pen 
guin and albatross are the sole population, yet in most 
of them a variety of oceanic birds are to be met with, 
enjoying all the privileges of citizenship, and scattering 
their nests here and there, wherever they can find room, 
never interfering, however, with the stations of the 
larger species. The appearance of such encampments, 



132 NARRATIVE OP 

when seen from a distance, is exceedingly singular. 
The whole atmosphere just above the settlement is dark 
ened with the immense number of the albatross (min 
gled with the smaller tribes) which are continually hov 
ering over it, either going to the ocean or returning 
home. At the same time a crowd of penguins are to be 
observed, some passing to and fro in the narrow alleys, 
and some marching, with the military strut so peculiar to 
them, around the general promenade-ground which en 
circles the rookery. In short, survey it as we will, no 
thing can be more astonishing than the spirit of reflec 
tion evinced by these feathered beings, and nothing 
surely can be better calculated to elicit reflection in 
every well-regulated human intellect. 

On the morning after our arrival in Christmas Harbour 
the chief mate, Mr. Patterson, took the boats, and (al 
though it was somewhat early in the season) went in 
search of seal, leaving the captain and a young relation 
of his on a point of barren land to the westward, they 
having some business, whose nature I could not ascer 
tain, to transact in the interior of the island. Captain 
Guy took with him a bottle, in which was a sealed letter, 
and made his way from the point on which he was set 
on shore towards one of the highest peaks in the place. 
It is probable that his design was to leave the letter on 
that height for some vessel which he expected to come 
after him. As soon as we lost sight of him we pro 
ceeded (Peters and myself being in the mate's boat) on 
our cruise around the coast, looking for seal. In this 
business we were occupied about three weeks, examin 
ing with great care every nook and corner, not only of 
Kerguelen's Land, but of the several small islands in 
the vicinity. Our labours, however, were not crowned 
with any important success. We saw a great many fur 
seal, but they were exceedingly shy, and, with the greatest 
exertions, we could only procure three hundred and fifty 
skins in all. Sea elephants were abundant, especially 
on the western coast of the main island, but of these we 
killed only twenty, and this with great difficulty. On 
the smaller islands we discovered a good many of the 



A. GORDON PYM. 133 

hair seal, but did not molest them. We returned to the 
schooner on the eleventh, where we found Captain Guy 
and his nephew, who gave a very bad account of the in 
terior, representing it as one of the most dreary and ut 
terly barren countries in the world. They had remained 
two nights on the island, owing to some misunderstand 
ing, on the part of the second mate, in regard to the 
sending a jollyboat from the schooner to take them off. 



CHAPTER XV. 

ON the twelfth we made sail from Christmas Harbour, 
retracing our way to the westward, and leaving Marion's 
Island, one of Crozet's group, on the larboard. We af 
terward passed Prince Edward's Island, leaving it also 
on our left ; then, steering more to the northward, made, 
in fifteen days, the islands of Tristan d'Acunha, in lati 
tude 37 8' S., longitude 12 8' W. 

This group, now so well known, and which consists 
of three circular islands, was first discovered by the Por 
tuguese, and was visited afterward by the Dutch in 1643, 
and by the French in 1767. The three islands together 
form a triangle, and are distant from each other about 
ten miles, there being fine open passages between. The 
land in all of them is very high, especially in Tristan 
d'Acunha, properly so called. This is the largest of 
the group, being fifteen miles in circumference, and so 
elevated that it can be seen in clear weather at the dis 
tance of eighty or ninety miles. A part of the land to 
wards the north rises more than a thousand feet per 
pendicularly from the sea. A tableland at this height 
extends back nearly to the centre of the island, and 
from this tableland arises a lofty cone like that of Ten- 
eriffe. The lower half of this cone is clothed with trees 
of good size, but the upper region is barren rock, usually 
hidden among the clouds, and covered with snow during 
M 



134 NARRATIVE OF 

the greater part of the year. There are no shoals or 
other dangers about the island, the shores being remark 
ably bold and the water deep. On the northwestern 
coast is a bay, with a beach of black sand, where a 
landing with boats can be easily effected, provided there 
be a southerly wind. Plenty of excellent water may 
here be readily procured ; also cod, and other fish, may 
be taken with hook and line. 

The next island in point of size, and the most west- 
wardly of the group, is that called the Inaccessible. Its 
precise situation is 37 17' S. latitude, longitude 12 
24' W. It is seven or eight miles in circumference, 
and on all sides presents a forbidding and precipitous 
aspect. Its top is perfectly flat, and the whole region 
is steril, nothing growing upon it except a few stunted 
shrubs. 

Nightingale Island, the smallest and most southerly, 
is in latitude 37 26' S., longitude 12 12' W. Off its 
southern extremity is a high ledge of rocky islets ; a 
few also of a similar appearance are seen to the north 
east. The ground is irregular and steril, and a deep 
valley partially separates it. 

The shores of these islands abound, in the proper sea 
son, with sea lions, sea elephants, the hair and fur seal, 
together with a great variety of oceanic birds. Whales 
are also plenty in their vicinity. Owing to the ease 
with which these various animals were here formerly 
taken, the group has been much visited since its dis 
covery. The Dutch and French frequented it at a very 
early period. In 1790, Captain Patten, of the ship In 
dustry, of Philadelphia, made Tristan d'Acunha, where 
he remained seven months (from August, 1790, to April, 
1791) for the purpose of collecting sealskins. In this 
time he gathered no less than five thousand six hundred, 
and says that he would have had no difficulty in loading 
a large ship with oil in three weeks. Upon his arrival 
he found no quadrupeds, with the exception of a few 
wild goats the island now abounds with all our most 
valuable domestic animals, which have been introduced 
by subsequent navigators. 



A. GORDON PYM. 

I believe it was not long after Captain Patten's visit 
that Captain Colquhoun, of the American brig Betsey, 
touched at the largest of the islands for the purpose of 
refreshment. He planted onions, potatoes, cabbages, 
and a great many other vegetables, an abundance of all 
which are now to be met with. 

In 1811, a Captain Heywood, in the Nereus, visited 
Tristan. He found there three Americans, who were 
residing upon the islands to prepare sealskins and oil. 
One of these men was named Jonathan Lambert, and he 
called himself the sovereign of the country. He had 
cleared and cultivated about sixty acres of land, and 
turned his attention to raising the coffee-plant and sugar 
cane, with which he had been furnished by the American 
minister at Rio Janeiro. This settlement, however, was 
finally abandoned, and in 1817 the islands were taken 
possession of by the British government, who sent a de 
tachment for that purpose from the Cape of Good Hope. 
They did not, however, retain them long; but, upon the 
evacuation of the country as a British possession, two or 
three English families took up their residence there in 
dependently of the government. On the twenty-fifth of 
March, 1824, the Berwick, Captain Jeffrey, from London 
to Van Diemen's Land, arrived at the place, where they 
found an Englishman of the name of Glass, formerly a 
corporal in the British artillery. He claimed to be su 
preme governor of the islands, and had under his control 
twenty- one men and three women. He gave a very fa 
vourable account of the salubrity of the climate and of 
the productiveness of the soil. The population occu 
pied themselves chiefly in collecting sealskins and sea 
elephant oil, with which they traded to the Cape of Good 
Hope, Glass owning a small schooner. At the period 
of our arrival the governor was still a resident, but his 
little community had multiplied, there being* fifty-six per 
sons upon Tristan, besides a smaller settlement of seven * 
on Nightingale Island. We had no difficulty in procu 
ring almost every kind of refreshment which we required 
sheep, hogs, bullocks, rabbits, poultry, goats, fish in 
great variety, and vegetables were abundant. Having 



136 NARRATIVE OP 

come to anchor close in with the large island, in eighteen 
fathoms, we took all we wanted on board very conve 
niently. Captain Guy also purchased of Glass five hun 
dred sealskins and some ivory. We remained here a 
week, during which the prevailing winds were from the 
northward and westward, and the weather somewhat 
hazy. On the fifth of November we made sail to the 
southward and westward, with the intention of having a 
thorough search for a group of islands called the Auro 
ras, respecting whose existence a great diversity of opin 
ion has existed. 

These islands are said to have been discovered as 
early as 1762, by the commander of the ship Aurora. 
In 1790. Captain Manuel de Oyarvido, in the ship Prin 
cess, belonging to the Royal Philippine Company, sailed, 
as he asserts, directly among them. In 1794, the Span 
ish corvette Atrevida went with the determination of as 
certaining their precise situation, and, in a paper pub 
lished by the Royal Hydrographical Society of Madrid in 
the year 1809, the following language is used respecting 
this expedition. " The corvette Atrevida practised, in 
their immediate vicinity, from the twenty-first to the 
twenty-seventh of January, all the necessary observa 
tions, and measured by chronometers the difference of 
longitude between these islands and the port of Soledad 
in the Malninas. The islands are three ; they are very 
nearly in the same meridian ; the centre one is rather 
low, and the other two may be seen at nine leagues dis 
tance." The observations made on board the Atrevida 
give the following results as the precise situation of each 
island. The most northern is in latitude 52 37' 24" S., 
longitude 47 43' 15" W. ; the middle one in latitude 
53 2' 40" S., longitude 47 55' 15" W. ; and the most 
southern in latitude 53 15' 22" S., longitude 47 57' 
15" W. 

On the twenty-seventh of January, 1820, Captain 
James Weddel, of the British navy, sailed from Staten 
Land also in search of the Auroras. He reports that, 
having made the most diligent search, and passed not 
only immediately over the spots indicated by the com- 



A, GORDON PYM. 137 

mander of the Atrevida, but in every direction through 
out the vicinity of these spots, he could discover no in 
dication of land. These conflicting statements have in 
duced other navigators to look out for the islands ; and, 
strange to say, while some have sailed through every 
inch of sea where they are supposed to lie without find 
ing them, there have been not a few who declare posi 
tively that they have seen them, and even been close in 
with their shores. It was Captain Guy's intention to 
make every exertion within his power to settle the ques 
tion so oddly in dispute.* 

We kept on our course, between the south and west, 
with variable weather, until the twentieth of the month, 
when we found ourselves on the debated ground, being 
in latitude 53 15' S., longitude 47 58' W. that is to 
say, very nearly upon the spot indicated as the situation 
of the most southern of the group. Not perceiving any 
sign of land, we continued to the westward in the parallel 
of fifty-three degrees south, as far as the meridian of fifty 
degrees west. We then stood to the north as far as the 
parallel of fifty-two degrees south, when we turned to 
the eastward, and kept our parallel by double altitudes, 
morning and evening, and meridian altitudes of the 
planets and moon. Having thus gone eastwardly to the 
meridian of the western coast of Georgia, we kept that 
meridian until we were in the latitude from which we set 
out. We then took diagonal courses throughout the en 
tire extent of sea circumscribed, keeping a lookout con 
stantly at the masthead, and repeating our examination 
with the greatest care for a period of three weeks, during 
which the weather was remarkably pleasant and fair, 
with no haze whatsoever. Of course we were thor 
oughly satisfied that, whatever islands might have ex 
isted in this vicinity at any former period, no vestige of 
them remained at the present day. Since my return 

* Among the vessels which at various times have professed to 
meet with the Auroras may be mentioned the ship San Miguel, in 
1769; the ship Aurora, in 1774; the brig Pearl, in 1779; and the 
ship Dolores, in 1790. They all agree in giving the mean latitude 
fitty-three degrees south. 



138 NARRATIVE OF 

home I find that the same ground was traced over with 
equal care in 1822 by Captain Johnson, of the Ameri 
can schooner Henry, and by Captain Morrell, in the 
American schooner Wasp -in both cases with the same 
result as in our own. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

IT had been Captain Guy's original intention, after 
satisfying himself about the Auroras, to proceed through 
the Strait of Magellan, and up along the western coast 
of Patagonia ; but infoimation received at Tristan d'Acun- 
ha induced him to steer to the southward, in the hope of 
falling in with some small islands said to lie about the 
parallel of 60 S., longitude 41 20' W. In the event 
of his not discovering these lands, he designed, should 
the season prove favourable, to push on towards the 
pole. Accordingly, on the twelfth of December, we 
made sail in that direction. On the eighteenth we 
found ourselves about the station indicated by Glass, 
and cruised for three days in that neighbourhood without 
finding any traces of the islands he had mentioned. On 
the twenty-first, the weather being unusually pleasant, 
we again made sail to the southward, with the resolu 
tion of penetrating in that course as far as possible. 
Before entering upon this portion of my narrative, it may 
be as well, for the information of those readers who have 
paid little attention to the progress of discovery in these 
regions, to give some brief account of the very few at 
tempts at reaching the southern pole which have hitherto 
been made. 

That of Captain Cook was the first of which we have 
any distinct account. In 1772 he sailed to the south in 
the Resolution, accompanied by Lieutenant Furneaux in 
the Adventure. In December he found himself as far 
as the fifty-eighth parallel of south latitude, and in Ion- 



A. GORDON PYM. 139 

gitude 26 57' E. Here he met with narrow fields of 
ice, about eight or ten inches thick, and running north 
west and southeast. This ice was in large cakes, and 
usually it was packed so closely that the vessels had 
great difficulty in forcing a passage. At this period 
Captain Cook supposed, from the vast number of birds 
to be seen, and from other indications, that he was in 
the near vicinity of land. He kept on to the southward, 
the weather being exceedingly cold, until he reached the 
sixty-fourth parallel, in longitude 38 14' E. Here he 
had mild weather, with gentle breezes, for five days, the 
thermometer being at thirty-six. In January, 1773, the 
vessels crossed the Antarctic circle, but did not succeed 
in penetrating much farther ; for, upon reaching latitude 
67 15', they found all farther progress impeded by an 
immense body of ice, extending all along the southern 
horizon as far as the eye could reach. This ice was of 
every variety and some large floes of it, miles in ex 
tent, formed a compact mass, rising eighteen or twenty 
feet above the water. It being late in the season, and 
no hope entertained of rounding these obstructions, 
Captain Cook now reluctantly turned to the northward. 

In the November following he renewed his search in 
the Antarctic. In latitude 59 40' he met with a strong 
current setting to the southward. In December, when 
the vessels were in latitude 67 31', longitude 142 
54' W., the cold was excessive, with heavy gales and 
fog. Here also birds were abundant ; the albatross, the 
penguin, and the peterel especially. In latitude 70 
23' some large islands of ice were encountered, and 
shortly afterward, the clouds to the southward were ob 
served to be of a snowy whiteness, indicating the vicin 
ity of field ice. In latitude 71 10', longitude 106 54' 
W., the navigators were stopped, as before, by an im 
mense frozen expanse, which filled the whole area of the 
southern horizon. The northern edge of this expanse 
was ragged and broken, so firmly wedged together as to 
be utterly impassable, and extending about a mile to the 
southward. Behind it the frozen surface was compara 
tively smooth for some distance, until terminated in the 



140 NARRATIVE OF 

extreme back-ground by gigantic ranges of ice moun 
tains, the one towering above the other. Captain Cook 
concluded that this vast field reached the southern 
pole or was joined to a continent. Mr. J. N. Reynolds, 
whose great exertions and perseverance have at length 
succeeded in getting set on foot a national expedition, 
partly for the purpose of exploring these regions, thus 
speaks of the attempt of the Resolution. " We are not 
surprised that Captain Cook was unable to go beyond 
71 10', but we are astonished that he did attain that 
point on the meridian of 106 54' west longitude. Pal 
mer's Land lies south of the Shetland, latitude sixty-four 
degrees, and tends to the southward and westward far 
ther than any navigator has yet penetrated. Cook was 
standing for this land when his progress was arrested 
by the ice ; which, we apprehend, must always be the 
case in that point, and so early in the season as the sixth 
of January and we should not be surprised if a portion 
of the icy mountains described was attached to the main 
body of Palmer's Land, or to some other portions of land 
lying farther to the southward and westward." 

In 1803, Captains Kreutzenstern and Lisiausky were 
despatched by Alexander of Russia for the purpose of 
circumnavigating the globe. In endeavouring to get 
south, they made no farther than 59 58', in longitude 70 
15' W. They here met with strong currents setting east- 
wardly. Whales were abundant, but they saw no ice. 
In regard to this voyage, Mr. Reynolds observes that, if 
Kreutzenstern had arrived where he did earlier in the 
season, he must have encountered ice it was March 
when he reached the latitude specified. The winds pre 
vailing, as they do, from the southward and westward, 
had carried the floes, aided by currents, into that icy re 
gion bounded on the north by Georgia, east by Sandwich 
Land and the South Orkneys, and west by the South 
Shetland Islands. 

In 1822, Captain James Weddell, of the British navy, 
with two very small vessels, penetrated farther to the 
south than any previous navigator, and this too, without 
encountering extraordinary difficulties. He states that 



A. GORDON PYM. 141 

although he was frequently hemmed in by ice before 
reaching the seventy-second parallel, yet, upon attaining 
it, not a particle was to be discovered, and that, upon ar 
riving at the latitude of 74 15', no fields, and only three 
islands of ice were visible. It is somewhat remarkable 
that, although vast flocks of birds were seen, and other 
usual indications of land, and although, south of the 
Shetlands, unknown coasts were observed from the 
masthead tending southwardly, Weddell discourages the 
idea of land existing in the polar regions of the south. 

On the eleventh of January, 1823, Captain Benjamin 
Morrell, of the American schooner Wasp, sailed from 
Kerguelen's Land with a view of penetrating as far south 
as possible. On the first of February he found himself 
in latitude 64 52' S., longitude 118 27' E. The fol 
lowing passage is extracted from his journal of that 
date. " The wind soon freshened to an eleven-knot 
breeze, and we embraced this opportunity of making to 
the west ; being however convinced that the farther we 
went south beyond latitude sixty-four degrees the less ice 
was to be apprehended, we steered a little to the south 
ward, until we crossed the Antarctic circle, and were in 
latitude 69 15' E. In this latitude there was no field 
ice, and very few ice islands in sight." 

Under the date of March fourteenth I find also this 
entry. ** The sea was now entirely free of field ice, 
and there were not more than a dozen ice islands in 
sight. At the same time the temperature of the air and 
water was at least thirteen degrees higher (more mild) 
than we had ever found it between the parallels of sixty 
and sixty-two south. We were now in latitude 70 14' 
S., and the temperature of the air was forty-seven, and 
that of the water forty-four. In this situation I found 

the variation to be 14 27' easterly, per azimuth 

I have several times passed within the Antarctic circle 
on different meridians, and have uniformly found the 
temperature, both of the air and the water, to become 
more and more mild the farther I advanced beyond the 
sixty-fifth degree of south latitude, and that the variation 
decreases in the same proportion. While north of this 



142 NARRATIVE OF 

latitude, say between sixty and sixty-five south, we fre 
quently had great difficulty in finding a passage for the 
vessel between the immense and almost innumerable 
ice islands, some of which were from one to two miles 
in circumference, and more than five hundred feet above 
the surface of the water." 

} Being nearly destitute of fuel and water, and without 
proper instruments, it being also late in the season, Cap 
tain Morrell was now obliged to put back, without at 
tempting any farther progress to the southward, although 
an entirely open sea lay before him. He expresses the 
opinion that, had not these overruling considerations 
obliged him to retreat, he could have penetrated, if not 
to the pole itself, at least to the eighty-fifth parallel. I 
have given his ideas respecting these matters somewhat 
at length, that the reader may have an opportunity of 
seeing how far they were borne out by my own subse 
quent experience. 

In 1831, Captain Briscoe, in the employ of the Mes 
sieurs Enderby, whale-ship owners of London, sailed in the 
brig Lively for the South Seas, accompanied by the cut 
ter Tula. On the twenty-eighth of February, being in 
latitude 66 30' S., longitude 47 31' E., he descried 
land, and " clearly discovered through the snow the black 
peaks of a range of mountains running E. S. E." He 
remained in this neighbourhood during the whole of the 
following month, but was unable to approach the coast 
nearer than within ten leagues, owing to the boisterous 
state of the weather. Finding it impossible to make 
farther discovery during this season, he returned north 
ward to winter in Van Diemen's Land. 

In the beginning of 1832 he again proceeded south 
wardly, and on the fourth of February land was seen 
to the southeast in latitude 67 15', longitude 69 29' W. 
This was soon found to be an island near the headland 
of the country he had first discovered. On the twenty- 
first of the month he succeeded in landing on the latter, 
and took possession of it in the name of William IV., 
calling it Adelaide's Island, in honour of the English 
*ueen. These particulars being made known to the 



A. GORDON PYM. 143 

Royal Geographical Society of London, the conclusion 
was drawn by that body " that there is a continuous 
tract of land extending from 47 30' E. to 69 29' W. 
longitude, running the parallel of from sixty-six to sixty- 
seven degrees south latitude." In respect to this con 
clusion Mr. Reynolds observes, " In the correctness of 
it we by no means concur ; nor do the discoveries of 
Briscoe warrant any such inference. It was within 
these limits that Weddell proceeded south on a meridian 
to the east of Georgia, Sandwich Land, and the South 
Orkney and Shetland Islands." My own experience 
will be found to testify most directly to the falsity of the 
conclusion arrived at by the society. 

These are the principal attempts which have been 
made at penetrating to a high southern latitude, and it 
will now be seen that there remained, previous to the 
voyage of the Jane, nearly three hundred degrees of lon 
gitude in which the Antarctic circle had not been crossed 
at all. Of course a wide field lay before us for discov 
ery, and it was with feelings of most intense interest 
that I heard Captain Guy express his resolution of push 
ing boldly to the southward. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

WE kept our course southwardly for four days after 
giving up the search for Glass's Islands, without meeting 
with any ice at all. On the twenty-sixth, at noon, we 
were in latitude 63 23' S., longitude 41 25' W. We 
now saw several large ice islands, and a floe of field ice, 
not, however, of any great extent. The winds generally 
blew from the southeast, or the northeast, but were very 
light. Whenever we had a westerly wind, which was 
seldom, it was invariably attended with a rain squall. 
Every day we had more or less snow. The thermome 
ter, on the twenty-seventh, stood at thirty-five. 



144 NARRATIVE OF 

January 1, 1828. This day we found ourselves com 
pletely hemmed in by the ice, and our prospects looked 
cheerless indeed. A strong gale blew, during the whole 
forenoon, from the northeast, and drove large cakes of 
the drift against the rudder and counter with such vio 
lence that we all trembled for the consequences. To 
wards evening, the gale still blowing with fury, a large 
field in front separated, and we were enabled, by carry 
ing a press of sail, to force a passage through the smal 
ler flakes into some open water beyond. As we ap 
proached this space we took in sail by degrees, and hav 
ing at length got clear, lay to under a single reefed fore 
sail. 

January 2. We had now tolerably pleasant weather. 
At noon we found ourselves in latitude 69 10' S., lon 
gitude 42 20' W., having crossed the Antarctic circle. 
Very little ice was to be seen to the southward, although 
large fields of it lay behind us. This day we rigged 
some sounding gear, using a large iron pot capable of 
holding twenty gallons, and a line of two hundred fath 
oms. We found the current setting to the north, about 
a quarter of a mile per hour. The temperature of the 
air was now about thirty-three. Here we found the va 
riation to be 14 28' easterly, per azimuth. 

January 5. We had still held on to the southward 
without any very great impediments. On this morning, 
however, being in latitude 73 15' E., longitude 42 10' 
W., we were again brought to a stand by an immense 
expanse of firm ice. We saw, nevertheless, much open 
water to the southward, and felt no doubt of being able 
to reach it eventually. Standing to the eastward along 
the edge of the floe, we at length came to a passage of 
about a mile in width, through which we warped our 
way by sundown. The sea in which we now were was 
thickly covered with ice islands, but had no field ice, 
and we pushed on boldly as before. The cold did not 
seem to increase, although we had snow very frequently, 
and now and then hail squalls of great violence. Im 
mense flocks of the albatross flew over the schooner this 
day, going from southeast to northwest. 



A. GORDON 1>YM. 145 

January 7. The sea still remained pretty well open, 
so that we had no difficulty in holding on our course. 
To the westward we saw some icebergs of incredible 
size, and in the afternoon passed very near one whose 
summit could not have beeji less than four hundred fath 
oms from the surface -of the ocean. Its girth was prob 
ably, at the base, three quarters of a league, and several 
v$reams of water were running from crevices in its sides. 
We remained in sight of this island two days, and then 
only lost it in a fog. 

January 10. Early this morning we had the misfor 
tune to lose a man overboard. He was an American, 
named Peter Vredenburgh, a native of New- York, and 
was one of the most valuable hands on board the 
schooner. In going over the bows his foot slipped, and 
he fell between two cakes of ice, never rising again. 
At noon of this day we were in latitude 78 30', longi 
tude 40 15' W. The cold was now excessive, and we 
had hail squalls continually from the northward and east 
ward. In this direction also we saw several more im 
mense icebergs, and the whole horizon to the eastward 
appeared to be blocked up with field ice, rising in tiers, 
one mass above the other. Some driftwood floated by 
during the evening, and a great quantity of birds flew 
over, among which were Nellies, peterels, albatrosses, 
and a large bird of a brilliant blue plumage. The vari 
ation here, per azimuth, was less than it had been pre 
viously to our passing the Antarctic circle. 

January 12. Our passage to the south again looked 
doubtful, as nothing was to be seen in the direction of 
the pole but one apparently limitless floe, backed by ab 
solute mountains of ragged ice, one precipice of which 
arose frowningly above the other. We stood to the 
westward until the fourteenth, in the hope of finding aa 
entrance. 

January 14. This morning we reached the western 
extremity of the field which had impeded us, and, weath 
ering it, came to an open sea, without a particle of ice. 
Upon sounding with two hundred fathoms, we here found 
a current setting southwardly at the rate of half a mile 
N 



146 NARRATIVE OP 

per hour. The temperature of the air was forty-seven, 
that of the water thirty-four. We now sailed to the 
southward, without meeting any interruption of moment 
until the sixteenth, when, at noon, we were in lat 
itude 81 21', longitude 42 W. We here again 
sounded, and found a current setting still southwardly, 
and at the rate of three quarters of a mile per hour. 
The variation per azimuth had diminished, and the tem 
perature of the air was mild and pleasant, the thermom 
eter being as high as fifty-one. At this period not a 
particle of ice was to be discovered. All hands on 
board now felt certain of attaining the pole. 

January 17. This day was full of incident. Innu 
merable flights of birds flew over us from the southward, 
and several were shot from the deck ; one of them, a 
species of pelican, proved to be excellent eating. About 
midday a small floe of ice was seen from the masthead 
off the larboard bow, and upon it there appeared to be 
some large animal. As the weather was good and 
nearly calm, Captain Guy ordered out two of the boats 
to see what it was. Dirk Peters and myself accompa 
nied the mate in the larger boat. Upon coming up with 
the floe, we perceived that it was in the possession of a 
gigantic creature of the race of the Arctic bear, but far 
exceeding in size the largest of these animals. Being 
well armed, we made no scruple of attacking it at once. 
Several shots were fired in quick succession, the most 
of which took effect, apparently, in the head and body. 
Nothing discouraged, however, the monster threw him 
self from the ice, and swam, with open jaws, to the boat 
in which were Peters and myself. Owing to the confu 
sion which ensued among us at this unexpected turn of 
the adventure, no person was ready immediately with a 
second shot, and the bear had actually succeeded in get 
ting half his vast bulk across our gunwale, and seizing 
one of the men by the small of his back, before any effi 
cient means were taken to repel him. In this extremity 
nothing but the promptness and agility of Peters saved 
us from destruction. Leaping upon the back of the huge 
beast, he plunged the blade of a knife behind the neck, 



A. GORDON PYM. 147 

reaching the spinal marrow at a blow. The brute tum 
bled into the sea lifeless, and without a struggle, rolling 
over Peters as he fell. The latter soon recovered him 
self, and a rope being thrown him, he secured the car 
cass before entering the boat. We then returned in tri 
umph to the schooner, towing our trophy behind us. 
This bear, upon admeasurement, proved to be full fifteen 
feet in his greatest length. His wool was perfectly 
white, and very coarse, curling tightly. The eyes were 
of a blood red, and larger than those of the Arctic bear 
the snout also more rounded, rather resembling the 
snout of the bulldog. The meat was tender, but exces 
sively rank and fishy, although the men devoured it with 
avidity, and declared it excellent eating. 

Scarcely had we got our prize alongside, when the 
man at the masthead gave the joyful shout of " land on 
the starboard bow .'" All hands were now upon the alert, 
and, a breeze springing up very opportunely from the 
northward and eastward, we were soon close in with the 
coast. It proved to be a low rocky islet, of about a 
league in circumference, and altogether destitute of veg 
etation, if we except a species of prickly pear. In ap 
proaching it from the northward, a singular ledge of 
rock is seen projecting into the sea, and bearing a 
strong resemblance to corded bales of cotton. Around 
this ledge to the westward is a small bay, at the bottom 
of which our boats effected a convenient landing. 

It did not take us long to explore every portion of the 
island, but, with one exception, we found nothing worthy 
of observation. In the southern extremity, we picked 
up near the shore, half buried in a pile of loose stones, 
a piece of wood, which seemed to have formed the prow 
of a canoe. There had been evidently some attempt at 
carving upon it, and Captain Guy fancied that he made 
out the figure of a tortoise, but the resemblance did not 
strike me very forcibly. Besides this prow, if such it 
were, we found no other token that any living creature 
had ever been here before. Around the coast we dis 
covered occasional small floes of ice but these were 
very few. The exact situation of this islet (to which 



148 NARRATIVE OF 

Captain Guy gave the name of Bennet's Islet, in honour 
of his partner in the ownership of the schooner) is 82 
50' S. latitude, 42 20' W. longitude. 

We had now advanced to the southward more thai* 
eight degrees farther than any previous navigators, 
and the sea still lay perfectly open before us. We 
found, too, that the variation uniformly decreased as 
we proceeded, and, what was still more surprising, that 
the temperature of the air, and latterly of the water, be 
came milder. The weather might even be called pleas 
ant, and we had a steady but very gentle breeze always 
from some northern point of the compass. The sky 
was usually clear, with now and then a slight appear 
ance of thin vapour in the southern horizon this, how 
ever, was invariably of brief duration. Two difficulties 
alone presented themselves to our view ; we were get 
ting short of fuel, and symptoms of scurvy had occurred 
among several of the crew. These considerations began 
to impress upon Captain Guy the necessity of returning, 
and he spoke of it frequently. For my own part, confi 
dent as I was of soon- arriving at land of some descrip 
tion upon the course we were pursuing, and having 
every reason to believe, from present appearances, that 
we should not find it the steril soil met with in the 
higher Arctic latitudes, I warmly pressed upon him the 
expediency of persevering, at least for a few days longer, 
in the direction we were now holding. So tempting an 
opportunity of solving the great problem in regard to an 
Antarctic continent had never yet been afforded to man, 
and I confess that I felt myself bursting with indignation 
at the timid and ill-timed suggestions of our commander. 
I believe, indeed, that what I could not refrain from say 
ing to him on this head had the effect of inducing him 
to push on. While, therefore, I cannot but lament the 
most unfortunate and bloody events which immediately 
arose from my advice, I must still be allowed to feel 
some degree of gratification at having been instrumental, 
however remotely, in opening to the eye of science one 
of the most intensely exciting secrets which has ever 
engrossed its attention. 






A. GORDON PYM. 149 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

JANUARY 18. This morning* we continued to the 
southward, with the same pleasant weather as before. 
The sea was entirely smooth, the air tolerably warm 
and from the northeast, the temperature of the water fif 
ty-three. We now again got our sounding-gear in order, 
and, with a hundred and fifty fathoms of line, found the 
current setting towards the pole at the rate of a mile an 
hour. This constant tendency to the southward, both 
in the wind and current, caused some degree of specu 
lation, and even of alarm, in different quarters of the 
schooner, and I saw distinctly that no little impression 
had been made upon the mind of Captain Guy. He was 
exceedingly sensitive to ridicule, however, and I finally 
succeeded in laughing him out of his apprehensions. 
The variation was now very trivial. In the course of 
the day we saw several large whales of the right spe 
cies, and innumerable flights of the albatross passed over 
the vessel. We also picked up a bush, full of red ber 
ries, like those of the hawthorn, and the carcass of a 
singular-looking land-animal. It was three feet in length, 
and but six inches in height, with four very short legs, 
the feet armed with long claws of a brilliant scarlet, and 
resembling coral in substance. The body was covered 
with a straight silky hair, perfectly white. The tail was 
peaked like that of a rat, and about a foot and a half 

* The terms morning and evening, which I have made use of to 
avoid confusion in my narrative, as far as possible, must not, of 
course, be taken in their ordinary sense. For a long time past we 
had had no night at all, the daylight being continual. The dates 
throughout are according to nautical time, and the bearings must 
be understood as per compass. I would also remark in this place, 
that 1 cannot, in the first portion of what is here written, pretend to 
strict accuracy in respect to dates, or latitudes and longitudes, hav 
ing kept no regular journal until after the period of which this first 
portion treats. In many instances I have relied altogether upon 
memory. 

N2 



150 NARRATIVE OF 

long. The head resembled a cat's, with the exception 
of the ears these were flapped like the ears of a dog. 
The teeth were of the same brilliant scarlet as the claws. 

January 19. To-day, being in latitude 83 20', longi 
tude 43 5' W. (the sea being of an extraordinarily 
dark colour), we again saw land from the masthead, 
and, upon a closer scrutiny, found it to be one of a 
group of very large islands. The shore was precipitous, 
and the interior seemed to be well wooded, a circum 
stance which occasioned us great joy. In about four 
hours from our first discovering the land we came to 
anchor in ten fathoms, sandy bottom, a league from the 
coast, as a high surf, with strong ripples here and there, 
rendered a nearer approach of doubtful expediency. 
The two largest boats were now ordered out, and a 
party, well armed (among whom were Peters and myself), 
proceeded to look for an opening in the reef which ap 
peared to encircle the island. After searching about for 
some time, we discovered an inlet, which we were enter 
ing, when we saw four large canoes put off from the 
shore, filled with men who seemed to be well armed. We 
waited for them to come up, and, as they moved with 
great rapidity, they were soon within hail. Captain Guy 
now held up a white handkerchief on the blade of an 
oar, when the strangers made a full stop, and commenced 
a loud jabbering all at once, intermingled with occasional 
shouts, in which we could distinguish the words Anamoo- 
moo ! and Lama-Lama ! They continued this for at 
least half an hour, during which we had a good opportu 
nity of observing their appearance. 

In the four canoes, which might have been fifty feet 
long and five broad, there were a hundred and ten sav 
ages in all. They were about the ordinary stature of 
Europeans, but of a more muscular and brawny frame. 
Their complexion a jet black, with thick and long wool 
ly hair. They were clothed in skins of an unknown 
black animal, shaggy and silky, and made to fit the 
body with some degree of skill, the hair being inside, 
except where turned out about the neck, wrists, and an 
kles. Their arms consisted principally of clubs, of a 



A. GORDON PYM. 151 

dark, and apparently very heavy wood. Some spears, 
however, were observed among them, headed with flint, 
and a few slings. The bottoms of the canoes were full 
of black stones about the size of a large egg. 

When they had concluded their harangue (for it waa 
clear they intended their jabbering for such), one of them 
who seemed to be the chief stood up in the prow of his 
canoe, and made signs for us to bring our boats along 
side of him. This hint we pretended not to understand, 
thinking it the wiser plan to maintain, if possible, the in 
terval between us, as their number more than quadrupled 
our own. Finding this to be the case, the chief ordered 
the three other canoes to hold back, while he advanced 
towards us with his own. As soon as he came up with 
us he leaped on board the largest of our boats, and 
seated himself by the side of Captain Guy, pointing at 
the same time to the schooner, and repeating the words 
Anamoo-moo ! and Lama-Lama ! We now put back to 
the vessel, the four canoes following at a little distance. 

Upon getting alongside the chief evinced symptoms of 
extreme surprise and delight, clapping his hands, slap 
ping his thighs and breast, and laughing obstreperously. 
His followers behind joined in his merriment, and for 
some minutes the din was so excessive as to be abso 
lutely deafening. Quiet being at length restored, Cap 
tain Guy ordered the boats to be hoisted up, as a neces 
sary precaution, and gave the chief (whose name we 
soon found to be Too-wit) to understand that we could 
admit no more than twenty of his men on deck at one 
time. With this arrangement he appeared perfectly sat 
isfied, and gave some directions to the canoes, when one 
of them approached, the rest remaining about fifty yards 
off. Twenty of the savages now got on board, and pro 
ceeded to ramble over every part of the deck, and scram 
ble about among the rigging, making themselves much 
at home, and examining every article with great inquisi- 
tiveness. 

It was quite evident that they had never before seen 
any of the white race from whose complexion, indeed, 
they appeared to recoil. They believed the Jane to 



152 NARRATITE OP 

be a living creature, and seemed to be afraid of hurting 
it with the points of their spears, carefully turning them 
up. Our crew were much amused with the conduct of 
Too-wit in one instance. The cook was splitting some 
wood near the galley, and, by accident, struck his axe 
into the deck, making a gash of considerable depth. 
The chief immediately ran up, and pushing the cook on 
one side rather roughly, commenced a half whine, half 
howl, strongly indicative of sympathy in what he con 
sidered the sufferings of the schooner, patting and 
smoothing the gash with his hand, and washing it from 
a bucket of seawater which stood by. This was a de 
gree of ignorance for which we were not prepared, and 
for my part I could not help thinking some of it affected. 
When the visiters had satisfied, as well as they could, 
their curiosity in regard to our upper works, they were 
admitted below, when their amazement exceeded all 
bounds. Their astonishment now appeared to be far 
too deep for words, for they roamed about in silence, 
broken only by low ejaculations. The arms afforded 
them much food for speculation, and they were suffered 
to handle and examine them at leisure. I do not believe 
that they had the least suspicion of their actual use, but 
rather took them for idols, seeing the care we had of them, 
and the attention with which we watched their movements 
while handling them. At the great guns their wonder 
was redoubled. They approached them with every 
mark of the profoundest reverence and awe, but forbore 
to examine them minutely. There were two large mir 
rors in the cabin, and here was the acme of their amaze 
ment. Too-wit was the first to approach them, and he 
had got in the middle of the cabin, with his face to one 
and his back to the other, before he fairly perceived 
them. Upon raising his eyes and seeing his reflected 
self in the glass, I thought the savage would go mad ; 
but, upon turning short round to make a retreat, and be 
holding himself a second time in the opposite direction, 
I was afraid he would expire upon the spot. No persua 
sions could prevail upon him to take another look ; but, 
throwing himself upon the floor, with his face buried ia 



A. GORDON PYM. 153 

his hands, he remained thus until we were obliged to 
drag him upon deck. 

The whole of the savages were admitted on board in 
this manner, twenty at a time, Too-wit being suffered to 
remain during the entire period. We saw no disposition 
to thievery among them, nor did we miss a single article 
after their departure. Throughout the whole of their visit 
they evinced the most friendly manner. There were, 
however,^ some points in their demeanour which we found 
it impossible to understand : for example, we could not get 
them to approach several very harmless objects such 
as the schooner's sails, an egg, an open book, or a pan of 
flour. We endeavoured to ascertain if they had among 
them any articles which might be turned to account 
in the way of traffic, but found great difficulty in being 
comprehended. We made out, nevertheless, what greatly 
astonished us, that the islands abounded in the large tor 
toise of the Gallipagos, one of which we saw in the 
canoe of Too-wit. We saw also some biche de mer in 
the hands of one of the savages, who was greedily de 
vouring it in its natural state. These anomalies, for 
they were such when considered in regard to the lati 
tude, induced Captain Guy to wish for a thorough inves 
tigation of the country, in the hope of making a profita 
ble speculation in his discovery. For my own part, 
anxious as I was to know something more of these 
islands, I was still more earnestly bent on prosecuting 
the voyage to the southward without delay. We had 
now fine weather, but there was no telling how long it 
would last ; and being already in the eighty-fourth paral 
lel, with an open sea before us, a current setting strongly 
to the southward, and the wind fair, I could not listen 
with any patience to a proposition of stopping longer 
than was absolutely necessary for the health of the crew 
and the taking on board a proper supply of fuel and 
fresh provisions. I represented to the captain that we 
might easily make this group on our return, and winter 
here in the event of being blocked up by the ice. He 
at length came into my views (for in some way, hardly 
known to myself, I had acquired much influence over 



154 NARRATIVE OF 

him), and it was finally resolved that, even in the event 
of our finding biche de mer, we should only stay here a 
week to recruit, and then push on to the southward 
while we might. Accordingly we made every necessary 
preparation, and, under the guidance of Too-wit, got the 
Jane through the reef in safety, coming to anchor about 
a mile from the shore, in an excellent bay, completely 
landlocked, on the southeastern coast of the main island, 
and in ten fathoms of water, black sandy bottom. At 
the head of this bay there were three fine springs (we 
were told) of good water, and we saw abundance of 
wood in the vicinity. The four canoes followed us in, 
keeping, however, at a respectful distance. Too-wit 
himself remained on board, and, upon our dropping an 
chor, invited us to accompany him on shore, and visit 
his village in the interior. To this Captain Guy con 
sented ; and ten savages being left on board as hostages, 
a party of us, twelve in all, got in readiness to attend 
the chief. We took care to be well armed, yet without 
evincing any distrust. The schooner had her guns run 
out, her boarding-nettings up, and every other proper 
precaution was taken to guard against surprise. Direc 
tions were left with the chief mate to admit no person 
on board during our absence, and, in the event of our 
not appearing in twelve hours, to send the cutter, with a 
swivel, round the island in search of us. 

At every step we took inland the conviction forced it 
self upon us that we were in a country differing essen 
tially from any hitherto visited by civilized men. We 
saw nothing with which we had been formerly conver 
sant. The trees resembled no growth of either the tor 
rid, the temperate, or the northern frigid zones, and were 
altogether unlike those of the lower southern latitudes 
we had already traversed. The very rocks were novel 
in their mass, their colour, and their stratification ; and 
the streams themselves, uttterly incredible as it may ap 
pear, had so little in common with those of other cli 
mates, that we were scrupulous of tasting them, and, in 
deed, had difficulty in bringing ourselves to believe that 
their qualities were purely those of nature. At a small 



A, GORDON PYM. 155 

brook which crossed our path (the first we had reached) 
Too-wit and his attendants halted to drink. On account 
of the singular character of the water, we refused to 
taste it, supposing it to be polluted ; and it was not until 
some time afterward we came to understand that such 
was the appearance of the streams throughout the whole 
group. I am at a loss to give a distinct idea of the na 
ture of this liquid, and cannot do so without many 
words. Although it flowed with rapidity in all declivi 
ties where common water would do so, yet never, ex 
cept when falling in a cascade, had it the customary ap 
pearance of limpidity. It was, nevertheless, in point of 
fact, as perfectly limpid as any limestone water in exist 
ence, the difference being only in appearance. At first 
sight, and especially in cases where little declivity was 
found, it bore resemblance, as regards consistency, to a 
thick infusion of gum Arabic in common water. But 
this was only the least remarkable of its extraordinary 
qualities. I was not colourless, nor was it of any one 
uniform colour presenting to the eye, as it flowed, 
every possible shade of purple, like the hues of a change 
able silk. This variation in shade was produced in a 
manner which excited as profound astonishment in the 
minds of our party as the mirror had done in the case 
of Too-wit. Upon collecting a basinful, and allowing 
it to settle thoroughly, we perceived that the whole mass 
of liquid was made up of a number of distinct veins, 
each of a distinct hue ; that these veins did not com 
mingle ; and that their cohesion was perfect in regard to 
their own particles among themselves, and imperfect in 
regard to neighbouring veins. Upon passing the blade 
of a knife athwart the veins, the water closed over it im 
mediately, as with us, and also, in withdrawing it, all 
traces of the passage of the knife were instantly obliter 
ated. If, however, the blade was passed down accu 
rately between two veins, a perfect separation was ef 
fected, which the power of cohesion did not immediately 
rectify. The phenomena of this water formed the first 
definite link in that vast chain of apparent miracles with 
which I was destined to be at length encircled. 



156 NARRATIVE OP 



CHAPTER XIX. 

WE were nearly three hours in reaching the village, 
it being more than nine miles in the interior, and the 
path lying through a rugged country. As we passed 
along, the party of Too-wit (the whole hundred and ten 
savages of the canoes) was momentarily strengthened 
by smaller detachments, of from two to six or seven, 
which joined us, as if by accident, at different turns in 
the road. There appeared so much of system in this 
that I could not help feeling distrust, and I spoke to 
Captain Guy of my apprehensions. It was now too late, 
however, to recede, and we concluded that our best se 
curity lay in evincing a perfect confidence in the good 
faith of Too-wit. We accordingly went on, keeping a 
wary eye upon the mano3uvres of the savages, and not 
permitting them to divide our numbers by pushing in be 
tween. In this way, passing through a. f precipitous ra 
vine, we at length reached what we were told was the 
only collection of habitations upon the island. As we 
came in sight of them, the chief set up a shout, and fre 
quently repeated the word Klock-Klock ; which we sup 
posed to be the name of the village, or perhaps the gen 
eric name for villages. 

The dwellings were of the most miserable description 
imaginable, and, unlike those of even the lowest of the 
savage races with which mankind are acquainted, were 
of no uniform plan. Some of them (and these we found 
belonged to the Wampoos or Yampoos, the great men of 
the land) consisted of a tree cut down at about four feet 
from the root, with a large black skin thrown over it, and 
hanging in loose folds upon the ground. Under this the 
savage nestled. Others were formed by means of rough 
limbs of trees, with the withered foliage upon them, 
made to recline, at an angle of forty-five degrees, against 
a bank of clay, heaped up, without regular form, to the 



A. GORDON PYM, 157 

height of five or six feet, Others, again, were mere holes 
dug in the earth perpendicularly, and covered over with 
similar branches, these being removed when the tenant 
was about to enter, and pulled on again when he had 
entered. A few were built among the forked limbs of 
trees as they stood, the upper limbs being partially cut 
through, so as to bend over upon the lower, thus forming 
thicker shelter from the weather. The greater number, 
however, consisted of small shallow caverns, apparently 
scratched in the face of a precipitous ledge of dark stone, 
resembling fuller's earth, with which three sides of the 
village was bounded, At the door of each of these 
primitive caverns was a small rock, which the tenant 
carefully placed before the entrance upon leaving his 
residence, for what purpose I could not ascertain, as the 
stone itself was never of sufficient size to close up more 
than a third of the opening. 

This village, if it were worthy of the name, lay in a 
valley of some depth, and could only be approached 
from the southward, the precipitous ledge of which I 
have already spoken cutting off all access in other di 
rections. Through the middle of the valley ran a brawl 
ing stream of the same magical-looking water which has 
been described. We saw several strange animals about 
the dwellings, all appearing to be thoroughly domestica 
ted. The largest of these creatures resembled our com 
mon hog in the structure of the body and snout ; the tail, 
however, was bushy, and the legs slender as those of the 
antelope. Its motion was exceedingly awkward and in 
decisive, and we never saw it attempt to run. We noticed 
also several animals very similar in appearance, but of a 
greater length of body, and covered with a black wool. 
There were a great variety of tame fowls running about, 
and these seemed to constitute the chief food of the na 
tives. To our astonishment we saw black albatross 
among these birds in a state of entire domestication, going 
to sea periodically for food, but always returning to the 
village as a home, and using the southern shore in the vi 
cinity as a place of incubation. There they were joined 
by their friends the pelicans as usual, but these latter 
O 



158 NARRATIVE OF 

never followed them to the dwellings of the savages, 
Among the other kinds of tame fowls were ducks, dif 
fering very little from the canvass-back of our own 
country, black gannets, and a large bird not unlike the 
buzzard in appearance, but not carnivorous. Of fish 
there seemed to be a great abundance. We saw, during 
our visit, a quantity of dried salmon, rock cod, blue dol 
phins, mackerel, blackfish, skate, conger eels, elephant- 
fish, mullets, soles, parrotfish, leather-jackets, gurnards, 
hake, flounders, paracutas, and innumerable other va 
rieties. We noticed, too, that most of them were simi 
lar to the fish about the group of the Lord Auckland 
Islands, in a latitude as low as fifty-one degrees south. 
The Gallipago tortoise was also very plentiful. We 
saw but few wild animals, and none of a large size, or 
of a species with which we were familiar. One or two 
serpents of a formidable aspect crossed our path, but 
the natives paid them little attention, and we concluded 
that they were not venomous. 

As we approached the village with Too-wit and his 
party, a vast crowd of the people rushed out to meet us, 
with loud shouts, among which we could only distinguish 
the everlasting Anamoo-moo ! and Lama-Lama ! We 
were much surprised at perceiving that, with one or 
two exceptions, these new comers were entirely naked, 
the skins being used only by the men of the canoes. 
All the weapons of the country seemed also to be in the 
possession of the latter, for there was no appearance of 
any among the villagers. There were a great many 
women and children, the former not altogether wanting 
in what might be termed personal beauty. They were 
straight, tall, and well formed, with a grace and freedom 
of carriage not to be found in civilized society. Their 
lips, however, like those of the men, werec thick and 
clumsy, so that, even when laughing, the teeth were 
never disclosed. Their hair was of a finer texture than 
that of the males. Among these naked villagers there 
might have been ten or twelve who were clothed, like 
the party of Too-wit, in dresses of black skin, and arm 
ed with lances and heavy clubs. These appeared to 



A. GORDON PYM. 159 

have great influence among the rest, and were always 
addressed by the title Wampoo. These, too, were the 
tenants of the black skin palaces. That of Too-wit was 
situated in the centre of the village, and was much larger 
and somewhat better constructed than others of its kind. 
The tree which formed its support was cut off at a dis 
tance of twelve feet or thereabout from the root, and 
there were several branches left just below the cut, these 
serving to extend the covering, and in this way prevent 
its flapping about the trunk. The covering, too, which 
consisted of four very large skins fastened together 
with wooden skewers, was secured at the bottom with 
pegs driven through it and into the ground. The floor 
was strewed with a quantity of dry leaves by way of 
carpet. 

To this hut we were conducted with great solemnity, 
and as many of the natives crowded in after us as possi 
ble. Too-wit seated himself on the leaves, and made 
signs that we should follow his example. This we did, 
and presently found ourselves in a situation peculiarly 
uncomfortable, if not indeed critical. We were on the 
ground, twelve in number, with the savages, as many as 
forty, sitting on their hams so closely around us that, if 
any disturbance had arisen, we should have found it im 
possible to make use of our arms, or indeed to have risen 
on our feet. The pressure was not only inside the tent, 
but outside, where probably was every individual on the 
whole island, the crowd being prevented from trampling 
us to death only by the incessant exertions and vocifera 
tions of Too-wit. Our chief security lay, however, in the 
presence of Too-wit himself among us, and we resolved 
to stick by him closely, as the best chance of extricating 
ourselves from the dilemma, sacrificing him immediately 
upon the first appearance of hostile design. 

After some trouble a certain degree of quiet was re 
stored, when the chief addressed us in a speech of great 
length, and very nearly resembling the one delivered in 
the canoes, with the exception that the Anamoo-moos ! 
were now somewhat more strenuously insisted upon than 
the Lama-Lamas ! We listened in profound silence until 



160 NARRATIVE OF 

the conclusion of his harangue, when Captain Guy replied 
by assuring the chief of his eternal friendship and good 
will, concluding what he had to say by a present of sev 
eral strings of blue beads and a knife. At the former 
the monarch, much to our surprise, turned up his nose 
with some expression of contempt ; but the knife gave him 
the most unlimited satisfaction, and he immediately or 
dered dinner. This was handed into the tent over the 
heads of the attendants, and consisted of the palpitating 
entrails of a species of unknown animal, probably one of 
the slim-legged hogs which we had observed in our ap 
proach to the village. Seeing us at a loss how to pro 
ceed, he began, by way of setting us an example, to de 
vour yard after yard of the enticing food, until we could 
positively stand it no longer, and evinced such manifest 
symptoms of rebellion of stomach as inspired his ma 
jesty with a degree of astonishment only inferior to that 
brought about by the looking-glasses. We declined, 
however, partaking of the delicacies before us, and en 
deavoured to make him understand that we had no appe 
tite whatever, having just finished a hearty dejeuner. 

When the monarch had made an end of his meal, we 
commenced a series of cross-questioning in every inge 
nious manner we could devise, with a view of discovering 
what were the chief productions of the country, and 
whether any of them might be turned to profit. At length 
he seemed to have some idea of our meaning, and offered 
to accompany us to a part of the coast where he assured 
us the biche de mer (pointing to a specimen of that ani 
mal) was to be found in great abundance. We were 
glad at this early opportunity of escaping from the op 
pression of the crowd, and signified our eagerness to pro 
ceed. We now left the tent, and, accompanied by the 
whole population of the village, followed the chief to the 
southeastern extremity of the island, not far from the bay 
where our vessel lay at anchor. We waited here for 
about an hour, until the four canoes were brought round 
by some of the savages to our station. The whole of 
our party then getting into one of them, we were paddled 
along the edge of the reef before mentioned, and of an- 



A, GORDON PYM. 161 

other still farther out, where we saw a far greater quantity 
of biche de mer than the oldest seaman among us had 
ever seen in those groups of the lower latitudes most 
celebrated for this article of commerce. We stayed near 
these reefs only long enough to satisfy ourselves that we 
could easily load a dozen vessels with the animal if ne 
cessary, when we were taken alongside the schooner, 
and parted with Too-wit after obtaining from him a prom 
ise that he would bring us, in the course of twenty-four 
hours, as many of the canvass-back ducks and Gallipago 
tortoises as his canoes would hold. In the whole of this 
adventure we saw nothing in the demeanour of the na 
tives calculated to create suspicion, with the single ex 
ception of the systematic manner in which their party 
was strengthened during our route from the schooner to 
the village. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE chief was as good as his word, and we were soon 
plentifully supplied with fresh provision. We found the 
tortoises as fine as we had ever seen, and the ducks sur 
passed our best species of wild fowl, being exceedingly 
tender, juicy, and well-flavoured. Besides these, the sav 
ages brought us, upon our making them comprehend our 
wishes, a vast quantity of brown celery and scurvy grass, 
with a canoe-load of fresh fish and some dried. The 
celery was a treat indeed, and the scurvy grass proved of 
incalculable benefit in restoring those of. our men who 
had shown symptoms of disease. In a very short time 
we had not a single person on the sick-list. We had 
also plenty of other kinds of fresh provision, among which 
may be mentioned a species of shellfish resembling the 
muscle in shape, but with the taste of an oyster. Shrimps, 
too, and prawns were abundant, and albatross and other 
birds' eggs with dark shells. We took in, too, a plentiful 
02 



162 NARRATIVE OP 

stock of the flesh of the hog which I have mentioned be 
fore. Most of the men found it a palatable food, but I 
thought it fishy and otherwise disagreeable. In return 
for these good things we presented the natives with blue 
beads, brass trinkets, nails, knives, and pieces of red 
cloth, they being fully delighted in the exchange. We 
established a regular market on shore, just under the guns 
of the schooner, where our barterings were carried on 
with every appearance of good faith, and a degree of or 
der which their conduct at the village of Klock-klock had 
not led us to expect from the savages. 

Matters went on thus very amicably for several days, 
during which parties of the natives were frequently on 
board the schooner, and parties of our men frequently on 
shore, making long excursions into the interior, and re 
ceiving no molestation whatever. Finding the ease with 
which the vessel might be loaded with biche de mer, owing 
to the friendly disposition of .the islanders, and the readi 
ness with which they would render us assistance in col 
lecting it, Captain Guy resolved to enter into negotiation 
with Too-wit for the erection of suitable houses in which 
to cure the article, and for the services of himself and 
tribe in gathering as much as possible, while he himself 
took advantage of the fine weather to prosecute his voy 
age to the southward. Upon mentioning this project to 
the chief he seemed very willing to enter into an agree 
ment. A bargain was accordingly struck, perfectly sat 
isfactory to both parties, by which it was arranged that, 
after making the necessary preparations, such as laying 
off the proper grounds, erecting a portion of the buildings, 
and doing some other work in which the whole of our 
crew would be required, the schooner should proceed on 
her route, leaving three of her men on the island to su 
perintend the fulfilment of the project, and instruct the 
natives in drying the biche de mer. In regard to terms, 
these were made to depend upon the exertions of the sav 
ages in our absence. They were to receive a stipulated 
quantity of blue beads, knives, red cloth, and so forth, for 
every certain number of piculs of the biche de mer which 
should be ready on our return. 



A. GORDON PYM. 163 

A description of the nature of this important article of 
commerce, and the method of preparing it, may prove of 
some interest to my readers, and I can find no more suit 
able place than this for introducing an account of it. 
The following comprehensive notice of the substance is 
taken from a modern history of a voyage to the South 
Seas. 

"It is that mollusca from the Indian Seas which is 
known in commerce by the French name bouche de mer 
(a nice morsel from the sea). If I am not much mis 
taken, the celebrated Cuvier calls it gasteropeda pulmon- 
ifera. It is abundantly gathered in the coasts of the Pa 
cific Islands, and gathered especially for the Chinese 
market, where it commands a great price, perhaps as 
much as their much-talked of edible bird's nests, which 
are probably made up of the gelatinous matter picked up 
by a species of swallow from the body of these molluscae. 
They have no shell, no legs, nor any prominent part, ex 
cept an absorbing and an excretory, opposite organs ; but, 
by their elastic wings, like caterpillars or worms, they 
creep in shallow waters, in which, when low, they can be 
seen by a kind of swallow, the sharp bill of which, in 
serted in the soft animal, draws a gummy and filament 
ous substance, which, by drying, can be wrought into 
the solid walls of their nest. Hence the name of gas 
teropeda pulmonifera. 

" This mollusca is oblong, and of different sizes, from 
three to eighteen inches in length ; and I have seen a 
few that were not less than two feet long. They are 
nearly round, a little flattish on one side, which lies next 
the bottom of the sea ; and they are from one to eight 
inches thick. They crawl up into shallow water at par 
ticular seasons of the year, probably for the purpose of 
gendering, as we often find them in pairs. It is when 
the sun has the most power on the water, rendering it 
tepid, that they approach the shore ; and they often go up 
into places so shallow, that, on the tide's receding, they 
are left dry, exposed to the heat of the sun. But they 
do not bring forth their young in shallow water, as we 
never see any of their progeny, and the full-grown ones 



164 NARRATIVE OF 

are always observed coming in from deep water. They 
feed principally on that class of zoophytes which produce 
the coral. 

" The biche de mer is generally taken in three or four 
feet water ; after which they are brought on shore, and 
split at one end with a knife, the incision being one inch 
or more, according to the size of the mollusca. Through 
this opening the entrails are forced out by pressure, and 
they are much like those of any other small tenant of the 
deep. The article is then washed, and afterward boiled 
to a certain degree, which must not be too much or too 
little. They are then buried in the ground for four hours, 
then boiled again for a short time, after which they are 
dried, either by the fire or the sun. Those cured by the 
sun are worth the most; but where one picul (1331 ibs.) 
can be cured that way, I can cure thirty piculs by the fire. 
When once properly cured, they can be kept in a dry place 
for two or three years without any risk ; but they should 
be examined once in every few months, say four times 
a year, to see if .any dampness is likely to affect them. 

" The Chinese, as before stated, consider biche de mer 
a very great luxury, believing that it wonderfully strength 
ens and nourishes the system, and renews the exhausted 
system of the immoderate voluptuary. The first quality 
commands a high price in Canton, being worth ninety 
dollars a picul ; the second quality seventy-five dollars ; 
the third fifty dollars ; the fourth thirty dollars ; the fifth 
twenty dollars ; the sixth twelve dollars ; the seventh 
eight dollars ; and the eighth four dollars ; small cargoes, 
however, will often bring more in Manilla, Singapore, and 
Batavia." 

An agreement having been thus entered into, we pro 
ceeded immediately to land everything necessary for pre 
paring the buildings and clearing the ground. A large 
flat space near the eastern shore of the bay was selected, 
where there was plenty both of wood and water, and 
within a convenient distance of the principal reefs on 
which the biche demer was to be procured. We now all 
set to work in good earnest, and soon, to the great as 
tonishment of the savages, had felled a sufficient number 



A. GORDON PYM. 165 

of trees for our purpose, getting them quickly in order 
for the framework of the houses, which in two or three 
days were so far under way that we could safely trust 
the rest of the work to the three men whom we intended 
to leave behind. These were John Carson, Alfred Har 
ris, and Peterson (all natives of London, I believe), 

who volunteered their services in this respect. 

By the last of the month we had everything in readi 
ness for departure. We had agreed, however, to pay a 
formal visit of leavestaking to the village, and Too-wit 
insisted so pertinaciously upon our keeping the promise, 
that we did not think it advisable to run the risk of offend 
ing him by a final refusal. I believe that not one of us 
had at this time the slightest suspicion of the good faith 
of the savages. They had uniformly behaved with the 
greatest decorum, aiding us with alacrity in our work, 
offering us their commodities frequently without price, 
and never, in any instance, pilfering a single article, al 
though the high value they set upon the goods we had 
with us was evident by the extravagant demonstrations 
of joy always manifested upon our making them a pres 
ent. The women especially were most obliging in 
every respect, and, upon the whole, we should have been 
the most suspicious of human beings had we entertained 
a single thought of perfidy on the part of a people who 
treated us so well. A very short while sufficed to prove 
that this apparent kindness of disposition was only the re 
sult of a deeply -laid plan for our destruction, and that the 
islanders for whom we entertained such inordinate feel 
ings of esteem were among the most barbarous, subtle, 
and bloodthirsty wretches that ever contaminated the face 
of the globe. 

It was on the first of February that we went on 
shore for the purpose of visiting the village. Although, 
as said before, we entertained not the slightest suspicion, 
still no proper precaution was neglected. Six men were 
left in the schooner with instructions to permit none of 
the savages to approach the vessel during our absence, 
under any pretence whatever, and to remain constantly 
on deck. The boarding-nettings were up, the guns dou- 



166 NARRATIVE OF 

ble-shotted with grape and canister, and the swivel* 
loaded with canisters of musket-balls. She lay, with 
her anchor apeak, about a mile from the shore, and no 
canoe could approach her in any direction without being 
distinctly seen and exposed to the full fire of our swiv 
els immediately. 

The six men being left on board, our shore-party con 
sisted of thirty-two persons in all. We were armed to 
the teeth, having with us muskets, pistols, and cutlasses, 
besides each a long kind of seaman's knife, somewhat re 
sembling the Bowie knife now so much used throughout 
our western and southern country. A hundred of the 
black skin warriors met us at the landing for the purpose 
of accompanying us on our way. We noticed, however, 
with some surprise, that they were now entirely without 
arms ; and, upon questioning Too-wit in relation to this 
circumstance, he merely answered that Mattee non we pa 
pa si meaning that there was no need of arms where 
all were brothers. We took this in good part, and pro 
ceeded. 

We had passed the spring and rivulet of which I be 
fore spoke, and were now entering upon a narrow gorge 
leading through the chain of soapstone hills among which 
the village was situated. This gorge was very rocky 
and uneven, so much so that it was with no little diffi 
culty we scrambled through it on our first visit to Klock- 
klock. The whole length of the ravine might have been 
a mile and a half, or probably two miles. It wound in 
every possible direction through the hills (having appa 
rently formed, at some remote period, the bed of a tor 
rent), in no instance proceeding more than twenty yards 
without an abrupt turn. The sides of this dell would 
have averaged, I am sure, seventy or eighty feet in per 
pendicular altitude throughout the whole of their extent, 
and in some portions they arose to an astonishing height, 
overshadowing the pass so completely that but little of 
the light of day could penetrate. The general width 
was 'about forty feet, and occasionally it diminished so 
as not to allow the passage of more than five or six per 
sons abreast, In short, there could be no place in the 



A> GORDON PYM. 167 

world better adapted for the consummation of an ambus 
cade, and it was no more than natural that we should 
look carefully to our arms as we entered upon it. When 
I now think of our egregious folly, the chief subject of as 
tonishment seems to be, that we should have ever ven 
tured, under any circumstances, so completely into the 
power of unknown savages as to permit them to march 
both before antl behind us in our progress through this ra 
vine. Yet such was the order we blindly took up, trusting 
foolishly to the force of our party, the unarmed condition 
of Too-wit and his men, the certain efficacy of our fire 
arms (whose effect was yet a secret to the natives), and, 
more than all, to the long- sustained pretension of friend 
ship kept up by these infamous wretches. Five or six 
of them went on before, as if to lead the way, ostenta 
tiously busying themselves in removing the larger stones 
and rubbish from the path. Next came our own party. 
We walked closely together, taking care only to prevent 
separation. Behind followed the main body of the sav 
ages, observing unusual order and decorum. 

Dirk Peters, a man named Wilson Allen, and myself 
were on the right of our companions, examining, as we 
went along, the singular stratification of the precipice 
which overhung us. A fissure in the soft rock attracted 
our attention. It was about wide enough for one person 
to enter without squeezing, and extended back into the 
hill some eighteen or twenty feet in a straight course, 
sloping afterward to the left. The height of the opening, 
as far as we could see into it from the main gorge, was 
perhaps sixty or seventy feet. There were one or two 
stunted shrubs growing from the crevices, bearing a spe 
cies of filbert, which I felt some curiosity to examine, 
and pushed in briskly for that purpose, gathering five or 
six of the nuts at a grasp, and then hastily retreating 
As I turned, I found that Peters and Allen had followed 
me. I desired them to go back, as there was not room 
for two persons to pass, saying they should have some of 
my nuts. They accordingly turned, and were scram 
bling back, Allen being close to the mouth of the fissure, 
when I was suddenly aware of a concussion resembling 






168 NARRATIVE OP 

nothing I had ever before experienced, and which im 
pressed me with a vague conception, if indeed I then 
thought of anything, that the whole foundations of the 
solid globe were suddenly rent asunder, and that the day 
of universal dissolution was at hand. 



CHAPTER XXL 

As soon as I could collect my scattered senses, I found 
myself nearly suffocated, and grovelling in utter dark 
ness among a quantity of loose earth, which was also 
falling upon me heavily in every direction, threaten 
ing to bury me entirely. Horribly alarmed at this idea, 
I struggled to gain my feet, and at length succeeded. I 
then remained motionless for some moments, endeavour 
ing to conceive what had happened to me, and where I 
was. Presently I heard a deep groan just at my ear, and 
afterward the smothered voice of Peters calling to me 
for aid in the name of God. I scrambled one or two 
paces forward, when I fell directly over the head and 
shoulders of my companion, who, I soon discovered, was 
buried in a loose mass of earth as far as his middle, and 
struggling desperately to free himself from the pressure. 
I tore the dirt from around him with all the energy I could 
command, and at length succeeded in getting him out. 

As soon as we sufficiently recovered from our fright and 
surprise to be capable of conversing rationally, we both 
came to the conclusion that the walls of the fissure in 
which we had ventured had, by some convulsion of na 
ture, or probably from their own weight, caved in over 
head, and that we were consequently lost for ever, being 
thus entombed alive. For a long time we gave up su 
pinely to the most intense agony and despair, such as 
cannot be adequately imagined by those who have never 
been in a similar situation. I firmly believe that no in 
cident ever occurring in the course of human events is 



A. GORDON PYM. 169 

more adapted to inspire the supremeness of mental and 
bodily distress than a case like our own, of living in 
humation. The blackness of darkness which envelops 
the victim, the terrific oppression of lungs, the stifling 
fumes from the damp earth, unite with the ghastly con 
siderations that we are beyond the remotest confines of 
hope, and that such is the allotted portion of the dead, to 
carry into the human heart a degree of appalling awe and 
horror not to be tolerated never to be conceived. 

At length Peters proposed that we should endeavour 
to ascertain precisely the extent of our calamity, and 
grope about our prison ; it being barely possible, he ob 
served, that some opening might be yet left us for escape. 
I caught eagerly at this hope, and, arousing myself to ex 
ertion, attempted to force my way through the loose earth. 
Hardly had I advanced a single step before a glimmer of 
light became perceptible, enough to convince me that, at 
all events, we should not immediately perish for want of 
air. We now took some degree of heart, and encouraged 
each other to hope for the best. Having scrambled over 
a bank of rubbish which impeded our farther progress 
in the direction of the light, we found less difficulty in ad 
vancing, and also experienced some relief from the ex 
cessive oppression of lungs which had tormented us. 
Presently we were enabled to obtain a glimpse of the ob 
jects around, and discovered that we were near the 
extremity of the straight portion of the fissure, whero it 
made a turn to the left. A few struggles more, and 
we reached the bend, when, to our inexpressible joy, there 
appeared a long seam or crack extending upward a vast 
distance, generally at an angle of about forty-five degrees, 
although sometimes much more precipitous. We could 
not see through the whole extent of this opening ; but, as 
a good deal of light came down it, we had little doubt of 
finding at the top of it (if we could by any means reach 
the top) a clear passage into the open air. 

I now called to mind that three of us had entered the 
fissure from the main gorge, and that our companion, 
Allen, was still missing ; we determined at once to re 
trace our steps and look for him. After a long search, 
P 






170 NARRATIVE OF 

and much danger from the farther caving in of the earth 
above us, Peters at length cried out to me that he had 
hold of our companion's foot, and that his whole body 
was deeply buried beneath the rubbish, beyond a possi 
bility of extricating him. I soon found that what he said 
was too true, and that, of course, life had been long ex 
tinct. With sorrowful hearts, therefore, we left the 
corpse to its fate, and again made our way to the bend. 

The breadth of the seam was barely sufficient to ad 
mit us, and, after one or two ineffectual efforts at getting 
up, we began once more to despair. I have before said 
that the chain of hills through which ran the main gorge 
was composed of a species of soft rock resembling soap- 
stone. The sides of the cleft we were now attempting to 
ascend were of the same material, and so excessively 
slippery, being wet, that we could get but little foothold 
upon them even in their least precipitous parts ; in some 
places, where the ascent was nearly perpendicular, the 
difficulty was, of course, much aggravated ; and, indeed, 
for some time we thought it insurmountable. We took 
courage, however, from despair ; and what, by dint of cut 
ting steps in the soft stone with our Bowie knives, and 
swinging, at the risk of our lives, to small projecting 
points of a harder species of slaty rock which now and 
then protruded from the general mass, we at length 
reached a natural platform, from which was perceptible 
a patch of blue sky, at the extremity of a thickly-wooded 
ravine. Looking back now, with somewhat more leisure, 
at the passage through which we had thus far proceeded, 
we clearly saw, from the appearance of its sides, that it 
was of late formation, and we concluded that the con 
cussion, whatever it was, which had so unexpectedly 
overwhelmed us, had also, at the same moment, laid 
open this path for escape. Being quite exhausted with 
exertion, and, indeed, so weak that we were scarcely 
able to stand or articulate, Peters now proposed that we 
should endeavour to bring our companions to the rescue 
by firing the pistols which still remained in our girdles 
the muskets as well as cutlasses had been lost among 
the loose earth at the bottom of the chasm. Subsequent 



A, GORDON PYM. 171 

events proved that, had we fired, we should have sorely 
repented it ; but, luckily, a half suspicion of foul play 
had by this time arisen in my mind, and we forbore to 
let the savages know of our whereabouts. 

After having reposed for about an hour, we pushed on 
slowly up the ravine, and had gone no great way before 
we heard a succession of tremendous yells. At length 
we reached what might be called the surface of the 
ground ; for our path hitherto, since leaving the platform, 
had lain beneath an archway of high rock and foliage, 
at a vast distance overhead. With great caution we 
stole to a narrow opening, through which we had a clear 
sight of the surrounding country, when the whole dread 
ful secret of the concussion broke upon us in one mo 
ment and at one view. 

The spot from which we looked was not far from the 
summit of the highest peak in the range of the soapstone 
hills. The gorge in which our party of thirty-two had 
entered ran within fifty feet to the left of us. But, for 
at least one hundred yards, the channel or bed of this 
gorge was entirely filled up with the chaotic ruins of 
more than a million tons of earth and stone that had 
been artificially tumbled within it. The means by which 
the vast mass had been precipitated were not more sim 
ple than evident, for sure traces of the murderous work 
were yet remaining. In several spots along the top of the 
eastern side of the gorge (we were now on the western) 
might be seen stakes of wood driven into the earth. In 
these spots the earth had not given way ; but throughout 
the whole extent of the face of the precipice from which 
the mass had fallen, it was clear, from marks left in the 
soil resembling those made by the drill of the rock- 
blaster, that stakes similar to those we saw standing 
had been inserted, at not more than a yard apart, for the 
length of perhaps three hundred feet, and ranging at about 
ten feet back from the edge of the gulf. Strong cords 
of grape vine were attached to the stakes still remaining 
on the hill, and it was evident that such cords had also 
been attached to each of the other stakes. I have al 
ready spoken of the singular stratification of these soap- 



172 NARRATIVE OF 

stone hills ; and the description just given of the narrow 
and deep fissure through which we effected our escape 
from inhumation will afford a further conception of its 
nature. This was such that almost every natural con 
vulsion would be sure to split the soil into perpendicular 
layers or ridges running parallel with one another ; and 
a very moderate exertion of art would be sufficient for 
effecting the same purpose. Of this stratification the 
savages had availed themselves to accomplish their 
treacherous ends. There can be no doubt that, by the 
continuous line of stakes, a partial rupture of the soil 
had been brought about, probably to the depth of one or 
two feet, when, by means of a savage pulling at the end 
of each of the cords (these cords being attached to the 
tops of the stakes, and extending back from the edge of 
the cliff), a vast leverage power was obtained, capable of 
hurling the whole face of the hill, upon a given signal, 
into the bosom of the abyss below. The fate of our 
poor companions was no longer a matter of uncertainty. 
We alone had escaped from the tempest of that over 
whelming destruction. We were the only living white 
men upon the island. , 



CHAPTER XXII. 

OUR situation, as it now appeared, was scarcely less 
dreadful than when we had conceived ourselves en 
tombed for ever. We saw before us no prospect but 
that of being put to death by the savages, or of dragging 
out a miserable existence in captivity among them. We 
might, to be sure, conceal ourselves for a time from their 
observation among the fastnesses of the hills, and, as a 
final resort, in the chasm from which we had just issued ; 
but we must either perish in the long Polar winter 
through cold and famine, or be ultimately discovered in 
our efforts to obtain relief. 



A, GORDON PYM. 173 

The whole country around us seemed to be swarming 
with savages, crowds of whom, we now perceived, had 
come over from the islands to the southward on flat 
rafts, doubtless with a view of lending their aid in the 
capture and plunder of the Jane. The vessel still lay 
calmly at anchor in the bay, those on board being appa 
rently quite unconscious of any danger awaiting them. 
How we longed at that moment to be with them ! either 
to aid in effecting their escape, or to perish with them in 
attempting a defence. We saw no chance even of 
warning them of their danger without bringing imme 
diate destruction upon our own heads, with but a remote 
hope of benefit to them. A pistol fired might suffice to 
apprize them that something wrong had occurred ; but 
the report could not possibly inform them that their only 
prospect of safety lay in getting out of the harbour forth 
with it could not tell them that no principles of honour 
now bound them to remain, that their companions were 
no longer among the living. Upon hearing the discharge 
they could not be more thoroughly prepared to meet the 
foe, who were now getting ready to attack, than they al 
ready were, and always had been. No good, therefore, 
and infinite harm, would result from our firing, and, after 
mature deliberation, we forbore. 

Our next thought was to attempt a rush towards the 
vessel, to seize one of the four canoes which lay at the 
head of the bay, and endeavour to force a passage on 
board. But the utter impossibility of succeeding in this 
desperate task soon became evident. The country, as I 
said before, was literally swarming with the natives, 
skulking among the bushes and recesses of the hills, so 
as not to be observed from the schooner. In our imme 
diate vicinity especially, and blockading the sole path 
by which we could hope to attain the shore in the prop 
er point, were stationed the whole party of the black 
skin warriors, with Too-wit at their head, and apparently 
only waiting for some re-enforcement to commence his 
onset upon the Jane. The canoes, too, which lay at 
the head of the bay were manned with savages, unarmed, 
it is true, but who undoubtedly had arms within reach. 
P2 



174 NARHATIVE OP 

We were forced, therefore, however unwillingly, to re 
main in our place of concealment, mere spectators of the 
conflict which presently ensued. 

In about half an hour we saw some sixty or seventy 
rafts, or flatboats, with outriggers, filled with savages, 
and coming round the southern bight of the harbour. 
They appeared to have no arms except short clubs, and 
stones which lay in the bottom of the rafts. Immediately 
afterward another detachment, still larger, approached in 
an opposite direction, and with similar weapons. The 
four canoes, too, were now quickly filled with natives, 
starting up from the bushes at the head of the bay, and 
put off swiftly to join the other parties. Thus, in less 
time than I have taken to tell it, and as if by magic, the 
Jane saw herself surrounded by an immense multitude 
of desperadoes evidently bent upon capturing her at all 
hazards. 

That they would succeed in so doing could not be 
doubted for an instant. The six men left in the vessel, 
however resolutely they might engage in her defence, 
were altogether unequal to the proper management of 
the guns, or in any manner to sustain a contest at such 
odds. I could hardly imagine that they would make re 
sistance at all, but in this was deceived ; for presently 
I saw them get springs upon the cable, and bring the 
vessel's starboard broadside to bear upon the canoes, 
which by this time were within pistol range, the rafts 
being nearly a quarter of a mile to windward. Owing 
to some cause unknown, but most probably to the agita 
tion of our poor friends at seeing themselves in so hope 
less a situation, the discharge was an entire failure. 
Not a canoe was hit or a single savage injured, the 
shots striking short and ricocheting over their heads. 
The only effect produced upon them was astonishment 
at the unexpected report and smoke, which was so ex 
cessive that for some moments I almost thought they 
would abandon their design entirely, and return to the 
shore. And this they would most likely have done had 
our men followed up their broadside by a discharge of 
small arms, in which, as the canoes were now so near 



A. GORDON PYM. 175 

at hand, they could not have failed in doing some execu 
tion, sufficient, at least, to deter this party from a farther 
advance, until they could have given the rafts also a 
broadside. But, in place of this, they left the canoe 
party to recover from their panic, and, by looking about 
them, to see that no injury had been sustained, while 
they flew to the larboard to get ready for the rafts. 

The discharge to larboard produced the most terrible 
effect. The star and double-headed shot of the large 
guns cut seven or eight of the rafts completely asunder, 
and killed, perhaps, thirty or forty of the savages outright, 
while a hundred of them, at least, were thrown into the 
water, the most of them dreadfully wounded. The re 
mainder, frightened out of their senses, commenced at 
once a precipitate retreat, not even waiting to pick up 
their maimed companions, who were swimming about in 
every direction, screaming and yelling for aid. This 
great success, however, came too late for the salvation 
of our devoted people. The canoe party were already 
on board the schooner to the number of more than a 
hundred and fifty, the most of them having succeeded in 
scrambling up the chains and over the boarding net 
tings even before the matches had been applied to the 
larboard guns. Nothing could now withstand their 
brute rage. Our men were borne down at once, over 
whelmed, trodden under foot, and absolutely torn to 
pieces in an instant. 

Seeing this, the savages on the rafts got the better of 
their fears, and came up in shoals to the plunder. In 
five minutes the Jane was a pitiable scene indeed of 
havoc and tumultuous outrage. The decks were split 
open and ripped up ; the cordage, sails, and everything 
moveable on deck demolished as if by magic ; while, 
by dint of pushing at the stern, towing with the canoes, 
and hauling at the sides, as they swam in thousands 
around the vessel, the wretches finally forced her on shore 
(the cable having been slipped), and delivered her over 
to the good offices of Too-wit, who, during the whole 
of the engagement, had maintained, like a skilful general, 
his post of security and reconnoissance among the hills, 






176 NARRATIVE OP 

but, now that the victory was completed to his satisfac 
tion, condescended to scamper down with his warriors 
of the black skin, and become a partaker in the spoils. 

Too- wit's descent left us at liberty to quit our hiding- 
place and reconnoitre the hill in the vicinity of the 
chasm. At about fifty yards from the mouth of it we 
saw a small spring of water, at which we slaked the 
burning thirst that now consumed us. Not far from the 
spring we discovered several of the filbert-bushes which 
I mentioned before. Upon tasting the nuts we found 
them palatable, and very nearly resembling in flavour 
the common English filbert. We collected our hats full 
immediately, deposited them within the ravine, and re 
turned for more. While we were busily employed in 
gathering these, a rustling in the bushes alarmed us, 
and we were upon the point of stealing back to our cov 
ert, when a large black bird of the bittern species strug- 
glingly and slowly arose above the shrubs. I was so 
much startled that I could do nothing, but Peters had 
sufficient presence of mind to run up to it before it 
could make its escape, and seize it by the neck. Its 
struggles and screams were tremendous, and we had 
thoughts of letting it go, lest the noise should alarm 
some of the savages who might be still lurking in the 
neighbourhood. A stab with a Bowie knife, however, 
at length brought it to the ground, and we dragged it into 
the ravine, congratulating ourselves that, at all events, 
we had thus obtained a supply of food enojugh to last us 
for a week. 

We now went out again to look about us, and ventured 
a considerable distance down the southern declivity of 
the hill, but met with nothing else which could serve us 
for food. We therefore collected a quantity of dry wood 
and returned, seeing one or two large parties of the na 
tives on their way to the village, laden with the plunder 
of the vessel, and who, we were apprehensive, might 
discover us in passing beneath the hill. 

Our next care was to render our place of concealment 
as secure as possible, and, with this object, we arranged 
some brushwood over the aperture which I have before 



A. GORDON PYM. 177 

spoken of as the one through which we saw the patch 
of blue sky, on reaching the platform from the interior 
of the chasm. We left only a very small opening, just 
wide enough to admit of our seeing the bay, without the 
risk of being discovered from below. Having done this, 
we congratulated ourselves upon the security of the po 
sition ; for we were now completely excluded from ob 
servation, as long as we chose to remain within the ra 
vine itself, and not venture out upon the hill. We could 
perceive no traces of the savages having ever been 
within this hollow ; but, indeed, when we came to re 
flect upon the probability that the fissure through which 
we attained it had been only just now created by the 
fall of the cliff opposite, and that no other way of attain 
ing it could be perceived, we were not so much rejoiced 
at the thought of being secure from molestation as fear 
ful lest there should be absolutely no means left us for 
descent. We resolved to explore the summit of the hill 
thoroughly, when a good opportunity should offer. In 
the mean time we watched the motions of the savages 
through our loophole. 

They had already made a complete wreck of the ves 
sel, and were now preparing to set her on fire. In a 
little while we saw the smoke ascending in huge volumes 
from her main-hatchway, and, shortly afterward, a dense 
mass of flame burst up from the forecastle. The rigging, 
masts, and what remained of the sails caught immedi 
ately, and the fire spread rapidly along the decks. Still 
a great many of the savages retained their stations about 
her, hammering with large stones, axes, and cannon balls 
at the bolts and other copper and iron work. On the 
beach, and in canoes and rafts, there were not less, alto 
gether, in the immediate vicinity of the schooner, than 
ten thousand natives, besides the shoals of them who, 
laden with booty, were making their way inland and 
over to the neighbouring islands. We now anticipated 
a catastrophe, and were not disappointed. First of all 
there came a smart shock (which we felt distinctly where 
we were as if we had been slightly galvanized), but unat 
tended with any visible signs of an explosion. The sav- 



178 NARRATIVE OF 

ages were evidently startled, and paused for an instant 
from their labours and yellings. They were upon the 
point of recommencing, when suddenly a mass of smoke 
puffed up from the decks, resembling a black and heavy 
thunder-cloud then, as if from its bowels, arose a tall 
stream of vivid fire to the height, apparently, of a quarter 
of a mile then there came a sudden circular expansion 
of the flame then the whole atmosphere was magically 
crowded, in a single instant, with a wild chaos of wood, 
and metal, and human limbs and, lastly, came the con 
cussion in its fullest fury, which hurled us impetuously 
from our feet, while the hills echoed and re-echoed the 
tumult, and a dense shower of the minutest fragments of 
the ruins tumbled headlong in every direction around us. 

The havoc among the savages far exceeded our utmost 
expectation, and they had now, indeed, reaped the full 
and perfect fruits of their treachery. Perhaps a thou 
sand perished by the explosion, while at least an equal 
number were desperately mangled. The whole surface 
of the bay was literally strewn with the struggling and 
drowning wretches, and on shore matters were even 
worse. They seemed utterly appalled by the sudden 
ness and completeness of their discomfiture, and made 
no efforts at assisting one another. At length we ob 
served a total change in their demeanour. From abso 
lute stupor they appeared to be, all at once, aroused to 
the highest pitch of excitement, and rushed wildly about, 
going to and from a certain point on the beach, with the 
strangest expressions of mingled horror, rage, and intense 
curiosity depicted on their countenances, and shouting, 
at the top of their voices, Tekeli-li ! TeMi-li ! 

Presently we saw a large body go off into the hills, 
whence they returned in a short time, carrying stakes of 
wood. These they brought to the station where the 
crowd was the thickest, which now separated so as to 
afford us a view of the object of all this excitement. 
We perceived something white lying on the ground, but 
could not immediately make out what it was. At length 
we saw that it was the carcass of the strange animal 
with the scarlet teeth and claws which the schooner had 



A, GORDON PYM. 179 

picked up at sea on the eighteenth of January. Captain 
Guy had had the body preserved for the purpose of stuf 
fing the skin and taking it to England. I remember he 
had given some directions about it just before our making 
the island, and it had been brought into the cabin and 
stowed away in one of the lockers. It had now been 
thrown on shore by the explosion ; but why it had occa 
sioned so much concern among the savages was more 
than we could comprehend. Although they crowded 
around the carcass at a little distance, none of them 
seemed willing to approach it closely. By-and-by the 
men with the stakes drove them in a circle around it, 
and, no sooner was this arrangement completed, than the 
whole of the vast assembly rushed into the interior of 
the island, with loud screams of Tekeli-li ! Tekeli-li ! 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

DURING the six or seven days immediately following 
we remained in our hiding-place upon the hill, going out 
only occasionally, and then with the greatest precaution, 
for water and filberts. We had made a kind of pent 
house on the platform, furnishing it with a bed of dry 
leaves, and placing in it three large flat stones, which 
served us for both fireplace and table. We kindled a 
fire without difficulty by rubbing two pieces of dry wood 
together, the one soft, the other hard. The bird we had 
taken in such good season proved excellent eating, al 
though somewhat tough. It was not an oceanic fowl, 
but a species of bittern, with jet black and grizzly plu 
mage, and diminutive wings in proportion to its bulk. 
We afterward saw three of the same kind in the vicinity 
of the ravine, apparently seeking for the one we had 
captured ; but, as they never alighted, we had no oppor 
tunity of catching them. 

As long as this fowl lasted we suffered nothing from 






180 NARRATIVE OF 

our situation ; but it was now entirely consumed, and it- 
became absolutely necessary that we should look out for 
provision. The filberts would not satisfy the cravings 
of hunger, afflicting us, too, with severe gripings of the 
bowels, and, if freely indulged in, with violent headache. 
We had seen several large tortoises near the seashore 
to the eastward of the hill, and perceived they might be 
easily taken, if we could get at them without the obser 
vation of the natives. It was resolved, therefore, to 
make an attempt at descending. 

We commenced by going down the southern declivity, 
which seemed to offer the fewest difficulties, but had not 
proceeded a hundred yards before (as we had anticipa 
ted from appearances on the hill-top) our progress was 
entirely arrested by a branch of the gorge in which our 
companions had perished. We now passed along the 
edge of this for about a quarter of a mile, when we were 
again stopped by a precipice of immense depth, and, not 
being able to make our way along the brink of it, we 
were forced to retrace our steps by the main ravine. 

We now pushed over to the eastward, but with pre 
cisely similar fortune. After an hour's scramble, at the 
risk of breaking our necks, we discovered that we had 
merely descended into a vast pit of black granite, with 
fine dust at the bottom, and whence the only egress was 
by the rugged path in which we had come down. Toil 
ing again up this path, we now tried the northern edge 
of the hill. Here we were obliged to use the greatest 
possible caution in our manoeuvres, as the least indis 
cretion would expose us to the full view of the sava 
ges in the village. We crawled along, therefore, on our 
hands and knees, and, occasionally, were even forced to 
throw ourselves at full length, dragging our bodies along 
by means of th shrubbery. In this careful manner wa 
had proceeded but a little way, when we arrived at a 
chasm far deeper than any we had yet seen, and leading 
directly into the main gorge. Thus our fears were fully 
confirmed, and we found ourselves cut off entirely from 
access to the world below. Thoroughly exhausted by 
eur exertions, we made the best of our way back to the 



A. GORDON PYM. 181 

platform, and, throwing ourselves upon the bed of leaves, 
slept sweetly and soundly for some hours. 

For several days after this fruitless search we were 
occupied in exploring every part of the summit of the 
hill, in order to inform ourselves of its actual resources. 
We found that it would afford us no food, with the ex 
ception of the unwholesome filberts, and a rank species 
of scurvy grass which grew in a little patch of not more 
than four rods square, and would be soon exhausted. 
On the fifteenth of February, as near as I can remember, 
there was not a blade of this left, and the nuts were 
growing scarce ; our situation, therefore, could hardly be 
more lamentable.* On the sixteenth we again went 
round the walls of our prison, in hope of finding some 
avenue of escape, but to no purpose. We also de 
scended the chasm in which we had been overwhelmed, 
with the faint expectation of discovering, through this 
channel, some opening to the main ravine. Here, too, 
we were disappointed, although we found and brought 
up with us a musket. 

On the seventeenth we set out with the determination 
of examining more thoroughly the chasm of black granite 
into which we had made our way in the first search. 
We remembered that one of the fissures in the sides of 
this pit had been but partially looked into, and we were 
anxious to explore it, although with no expectation of 
discovering here any opening. 

We found no great difficulty in reaching the bottom 
of the hollow as before, and were now sufficiently calm 
to survey it with some attention. It was, indeed, one 
of the most singular-looking places imaginable, and we 
could scarcely bring ourselves to believe it altogether 
the work of nature. The pit, from its eastern to its 
western extremity, was about five hundred yards in 
length, when all its windings were threaded; the dis 
tance from east to west in a straight line not being more 
(I should suppose, having no means of accurate examin- 

* This day was rendered remarkable by our observing in the 
south several huge wreaths of the grayish vapour I have before 
epoken of. 

Q 



182 NARRATIVE OF 

ation) than forty or fifty yards. Upon first descending 
into the chasm, that is to say, for a hundred feet down 
ward from the summit of the hill, the sides of the abyss 
bore little resemblance to each other, and, apparently, 
had at no time been connected, the one surface being of 
the soapstone and the other of marl, granulated with 
some metallic matter. The average breadth, or inter 
val between the two cliffs, was probably here sixty feet, 
but there seemed to be no regularity of formation. Pas 
sing down, however, beyond the limit spoken of, the in 
terval rapidly contracted, and the sides began to run 
parallel, although, for some distance farther, they were 
still dissimilar in their material and form of surface. 
Upon arriving within fifty feet of the bottom, a perfect 
regularity commenced. The sides were now entirely 
uniform in substance, in colour, and in lateral direction, 
the material being a very black and shining granite, and 
the distance between the two sides, at all points facing 
each other, exactly twenty yards. The precise forma 
tion of the chasm will be best understood by means of a 
delineation taken upon the spot ; for I had luckily with 
me a pocketbook and pencil, which J preserved with 
great care through a long series of subsequent adventure, 
and to which I am indebted for memoranda of many sub 
jects which would otherwise have been crowded from my 
remembrance. 

Figure I 




A. GORDON PYM. 183 

This figure (see figure 1) gives the general outlines 
of the chasm, without the minor cavities in the sides, of 
which there were several, each cavity having a corre 
sponding protuberance opposite. The bottom of the gulf 
was covered to the depth of three or four inches with a 
powder almost impalpable, beneath which we found a 
continuation of the black granite. To the right, at the 
lower extremity, will be noticed the appearance of a 
small opening ; this is the fissure alluded to above, and 
to examine which more minutely than before was the 
object of our second visit. We now pushed into it with 
vigour, cutting away a quantity of brambles which im 
peded us, and removing a vast heap of sharp flints some 
what resembling arrowheads in shape. We were en 
couraged to persevere, however, by perceiving some 
little light proceeding from the farther end. We at 
length squeezed our way for about thirty feet, and found 
that the aperture was a low and regularly-formed arch, 
having a bottom of the same impalpable powder as that 
in the main chasm. A strong light now broke upon us, 
and, turning a short bend, we found ourselves in another 
lofty chamber, similar to the one we had left in every 
respect but longitudinal form. Its general figure is here 
given. (See figure 2.) 

Figure 2. 







184 NARRATIVE OF 

The total length of this chasm, commencing at the 
opening a and proceeding round the curve b to the ex 
tremity d, is five hundred and fifty yards. At c we dis 
covered a small aperture similar to the one through 
which we had issued from the other chasm, and this was 
choked up in the same manner with brambles and a 
quantity of the white arrowhead flints. We forced our 
way through it, finding it about forty feet long, and 
emerged into a third chasm. This, too, was precisely 
like the first, except in its longitudinal shape, which was 
thus. (See figure 3.) 

Figure 3. Figure 5 





We found the entire length of the third chasm three 
hundred and twenty yards. At the point a was an open 
ing about six feet wide, and extending fifteen feet into 
the rock, where it terminated in a bed of marl, there 
being no other chasm beyond, as we had expected. We 
were about leaving this fissure, into which very little 
light was admitted, when Peters called my attention to 
a range of singular-looking indentures in the surface of 
the marl forming the termination of the cul-de-sac. With 
a very slight exertion of the imagination, the left, or most 
northerly of these indentures might have been taken for 
the intentional, although rude, representation of a human 
figure standing erect, with outstretched arm. The rest 
of them bore also some little resemblance to alphabetical 
characters, and Peters was willing, at all events, to adopt 
the idle opinion that they were really such. I convinced 
him of his error, finally, by directing his attention to the 
floor of the fissure, where, among the powder, we picked " 
up, piece by piece, several large flakes of the marl, 
which had evidently been broken off by some convulsion 
from the surface where the indentures were found, and 



A. GORDON PYM. 185 

which had projecting points exactly fitting the indentures ; 
thus proving them to have been the work of nature. 
Figure 4. presents an accurate copy of the whole. 

Figure 4. 




After satisfying ourselves that these singular caverns 
afforded us no means of escape from our prison, we 
made our way back, dejected and dispirited, to the sum 
mit of the hill. Nothing worth mentioning occurred du 
ring the next twenty-four hours, except that, in examin 
ing the ground to the eastward of the third chasm, we 
found two triangular holes of great depth, and also with 
black granite sides. Into these holes we did not think 
it worth while to attempt descending, as they had the 
appearance of mere natural wells, without outlet. They 
were each about twenty yards in circumference, and 
their shape, as well as relative position in regard to the 
third chasm, is shown in figure 5, preceding page. 



CHAPTER XXIIL 

ON the twentieth of the month, finding it altogether 
impossible to subsist any longer upon the filberts, the 
use of which occasioned us the most excruciating tor 
ment, we resolved to make a desperate attempt at de 
scending the southern declivity of the hill. The face of 
Q2 



186 NARRATIVE OF 

the precipice was here of the softest species of soapstone, 
although nearly perpendicular throughout its whole ex 
tent (a depth of a hundred and fifty feet at the least), 
and in many places even overarching. After long 
search we discovered a narrow ledge about twenty feet 
below the brink of the gulf; upon this Peters contrived 
to leap, with what assistance I could render him by 
means of our pocket-handkerchiefs tied together. With 
somewhat more difficulty I also got down ; and we then 
saw the possibility of descending the whole way by the 
process in which we had clambered up from the chasm 
when we had been buried by the fall of the hill that is, 
by cutting steps in the face of the soapstone with our 
knives. The extreme hazard of the attempt can scarcely 
be conceived ; but, as there was no other resource, we 
determined to undertake it. 

Upon the ledge where we stood there grew some fil 
bert-bushes ; and to one of these we made fast an end 
of our rope of handkerchiefs. The other end being tied 
round Peters's waist, I lowered him down over the edge 
of the precipice until the handkerchiefs were stretched 
tight. He now proceeded to dig a deep hole in the 
soapstone (as far in as eight or ten inches), sloping 
away the rock above to the height of a foot, or therea 
bout, so as to allow of his driving, with the butt of a 
pistol, a tolerably strong peg into the levelled surface. 
I then drew him up for about four feet, when he made a 
hole similar to the one below, driving in a peg as before, 
and having thus a resting-place for both feet and hands. 
I now unfastened the handkerchiefs from the bush, throw 
ing him the end, which he tied to the peg in the upper 
most hole, letting himself down gently to a station about 
three feet lower than he had yet been, that is, to the full 
extent of the handkerchiefs. Here he dug another hole, 
and drove another peg. He then drew himself up, so 
as to rest his feet in the hole just cut, taking hold with 
his hands upon the peg in the one above. It was now 
necessary to untie the handkerchiefs from the topmost 
peg, with the view of fastening them to the second ; and 
here he found that an error had been committed in cut- 



A. GORDON PYM. 187 

ting the holes at so great a distance apart. However, 
after one or two unsuccessful and dangerous attempts at 
reaching the knot (having to hold on with his left hand 
while he laboured to undo the fastening with his right), 
he at length cut the string, leaving six inches of it af 
fixed to the peg. Tying the handkerchiefs now to the 
second peg, he descended to a station below the third, 
taking care not to go too far down. By these means 
(means which I should never have conceived of myself, 
and for which we were indebted altogether to Peters's 
ingenuity and resolution) my companion finally suc 
ceeded, with the occasional aid of projections in the cliff, 
in reaching the bottom without accident. 

It was some time before I could summon sufficient 
resolution to follow him ; but I did at length attempt it. 
Peters had taken off his shirt before descending, and this, 
with my own, formed the rope necessary for the adven 
ture. After throwing down the musket found in the 
hasm, I fastened this rope to the bushes, and let myself 
down rapidly, striving, by the vigour of my movements, 
to banish the trepidation which I could overcome in no 
other manner. This answered sufficiently well for the 
first four or five steps ; but presently I found my ima 
gination growing terribly excited by thoughts of the vast 
depth yet to be descended, and the precarious nature of 
the pegs and soapstone holes which were my only sup 
port. It was in vain I endeavoured to banish these re 
flections, and to keep my eyes steadily bent upon the 
flat surface of the cliff before me. The more earnestly I 
struggled not to think, the more intensely vivid became 
my conceptions, and the more horribly distinct. At 
length arrived that crisis of fancy, so fearful in all simi 
lar cases, the crisis in which we begin to anticipate the 
feelings with which we shall fall to picture to ourselves 
the sickness, and dizziness, and the last struggle, and 
the half swoon, and the final bitterness of the rushing 
and headlong descent. And now I found these fancies 
creating their own realities, and all imagined horrors 
crowding upon me in fact. I felt my knees strike vio 
lently together, while my fingers were gradually yet cer- 



IBS NARRATIVE OF 

tainly relaxing their grasp. There was a ringing in my 
ears, and I said, " This is my knell of death !" And 
now I was consumed with the irrepressible desire of 
looking below. I could not, I would not, confine my 
glances to the cliff; and, with a wild, indefinable emotion 
half of horror, half of a relieved oppression, I threw my 
vision far down into the abyss. For one moment my 
fingers clutched convulsively upon their hold, while, 
with the movement, the faintest possible idea of ultimate 
escape wandered, like a shadow, through my mind in 
the next my whole soul was pervaded with a longing to 
fall; a desire, a yearning, a passion utterly uncontrolla 
ble. I let go at once my grasp upon the peg, and, turning 
half round from the precipice, remained tottering for an 
instant against its naked face. But now there came a 
spinning of the brain ; a shrill-sounding and phantom 
voice screamed within my ears ; a dusky, fiendish, and 
filmy figure stood immediately beneath me; and, sighing, 
I sunk down with a bursting heart, and plunged within 
its arms. 

I had swooned, and Peters had caught me as I fell. 
He had observed my proceedings from his station at the 
bottom of the cliff; and, perceiving my imminent danger, 
had endeavoured to inspire me with courage by every 
suggestion he could devise ; although my confusion of 
mind had been so great as to prevent my hearing what 
he said, or being conscious that he had even spoken to 
me at all. At length, seeing me totter, he hastened to 
ascend to my rescue, and arrived just in time for my 
preservation. Had I fallen with my full weight, the 
rope of linen would inevitably have snapped, and I 
should have been precipitated into the abyss ; as it was, 
he contrived to let me down gently, so as to remain sus 
pended without danger until animation returned. This 
was in about fifteen minutes. On recovery, my trepida 
tion had entirely vanished ; I felt a new being, and, with 
some little further aid from my companion, reached the 
bottom also in safety. 

We now found ourselves not far from the ravine 
which had proved the tomb of our friends, and to the 



A. GORDON PYM. 189 

southward of the spot where the hill had fallen. The 
place was one of singular wildness, and its aspect 
brought to my mind the descriptions given by travellers 
of those dreary regions marking the site of degraded 
Babylon. Not to speak of the ruins of the disruptured 
cliff, which formed a chaotic barrier in the vista to the 
northward, the surface of the ground in every other di 
rection was strewn with huge tumuli, apparently the 
wreck of some gigantic structures of art ; although, in 
detail, no semblance of art could be detected. Scoria 
were abundant, and large shapeless blocks of the black 
granite, intermingled with others of marl,* and both gran 
ulated with metal. Of vegetation there were no traces 
whatsoever throughout the whole of the desolate area 
within sight. Several immense scorpions were seen, and 
various reptiles not elsewhere to be found in the high 
latitudes. 

As food was our most immediate object, we resolved 
to make our way to the seacoast, distant not more than 
half a mile, with a view of catching turtle, several of 
which we had observed from our place of concealment 
on the hill. We had proceeded some hundred yards, 
threading our route cautiously between the huge rocks 
and tumuli, when, upon turning a corner, five savages 
sprung upon us from a small cavern, felling Peters to the 
ground with a blow from a club. As he fell the whole 
party rushed upon him to secure their victim, leaving me 
time to recover from my astonishment. I still had the 
musket, but the barrel had received so much injury in 
being thrown from the precipice that I cast it aside as 
useless, preferring to trust my pistols, which had been 
carefully preserved in order. With these I advanced 
upon the assailants, firing one after the other in quick 
succession. Two savages fell, and one, who was in the 
act of thrusting a spear into Peters, sprung to his feet 
without accomplishing his purpose. My companion being 
thus released, we had no further difficulty. He had his 
pistols also, but prudently declined using them, confiding 

* The marl was also black ; indeed, we noticed no light-coloured 
substances of any kind upon the island. 



190 NARRATIVE OP 

in his great personal strength, which far exceeded that 
of any person I have ever known. Seizing a club from 
one of the savages who had fallen, he dashed out the 
brains of the three who remained, killing each instanta 
neously with a single blow of the weapon, and leaving 
us completely masters of the field. 

So rapidly had these events passed, that we could 
scarely believe in their reality, and were standing over 
the bodies of the dead in a species of stupid contempla 
tion, when we were brought to recollection by the sound 
of shouts in the distance. It was clear that the savages 
had been alarmed by the firing, and that we had little 
chance of avoiding discovery. To regain the cliff, it 
would be necessary to proceed in the direction of the 
shouts ; and even should we succeed in arriving at its 
base, we should never be able to ascend it without being 
seen. Our situation was one of the greatest peril, and 
we were hesitating in which path to commence a flight, 
when one of the savages whom I had shot, and supposed 
dead, sprang briskly to his feet, and attempted to make 
his escape. We overtook him, however, before he had 
advanced many paces, and were about to put him to 
death, when Peters suggested that we might derive some 
benefit from forcing him to accompany us in our attempt 
at escape. We therefore dragged him with us, making 
him understand that we would shoot him if he offered 
resistance. In a few minutes he was perfectly submis 
sive, and ran by our sides as we pushed in among the 
rocks, making for the seashore. 

So far, the irregularities of the ground we had been 
traversing hid the sea, except at intervals, from our sight, 
and, when we first had it fairly in view, it was, perhaps, 
two hundred yards distant. As we emerged into the 
open beach we saw, to our great dismay, an immense 
crowd of the natives pouring from the village, and from 
all visible quarters of the island, making towards us with 
gesticulations of extreme fury, and howling like wild 
beasts. We were upon the point of turning upon our 
steps, and trying to secure a retreat among the fastnesses 
of the rougher ground, when I discovered the bows of 



A. GORDON PYM. 191 

two canoes projecting from behind a large rock which 
ran out into the water. Towards these we now ran with 
all speed, and, reaching them, found them unguarded, 
and without any other freight than three of the large Gal- 
lipago turtles and the usual supply of paddles for sixty 
rowers. We instantly took possession of one of them, 
and, forcing our captive on board, pushed out to sea 
with all the strength we could command. 

We had not made, however, more than fifty yards 
from the shore before we became sufficiently calm to 
perceive the great oversight of which we had been guilty 
in leaving the other canoe in the power of the savages, 
who, by this time, were not more than twice as far from 
the beach as ourselves, and were rapidly advancing to 
the pursuit. No time was now to be lost. Our hope 
was, at best, a forlorn one, but we had none other. It 
was very doubtful whether, with the utmost exertion, we 
could get back in time to anticipate them in taking pos 
session of the canoe ; but yet there was a chance that 
we could. We might save ourselves if we succeeded, 
while not to make the attempt was to resign ourselves 
to inevitable butchery. 

The canoe was modelled with the bow and stern 
alike, and, in place of turning it round, we merely 
changed our position in paddling. As soon as the sav 
ages perceived this they redoubled their yells, as well 
as their speed, and approached with inconceivable ra 
pidity. We pulled, however, with all the energy of des 
peration, and arrived at the contested point before more 
than one of the natives had attained it. This man paid 
dearly for his superior agility, Peters shooting him through 
the head with a pistol as he approached the shore. The 
foremost among the rest of his party were probably 
some twenty or thirty paces distant as we seized upon 
the canoe. We at first endeavoured to pull her into the 
4eep water, beyond the reach of the savages, but, finding 
her too firmly aground, and there being no time to spare, 
Peters, with one or two heavy strokes from the butt of 
the musket, succeeded in dashing out a large portion of 
the bow and of one side. We then pushed off. Two 



192 NARRATIVE OF 

of the natives by this time had got hold of our boat, ob 
stinately refusing to let go, until we were forced to de 
spatch them with our knives. We were now clear off, 
and making great way out to sea. The main body of 
the savages, upon reaching the broken canoe, set up 
the most tremendous yell of rage and disappointment 
conceivable. In truth, from everything I could see of 
these wretches, they appeared to be the most wicked, 
hypocritical, vindictive, bloodthirsty, and altogether fiend 
ish race of men upon the face of the globe. It is clear 
we should have had no mercy had we fallen into their 
hands. They made a mad attempt at following us in 
the fractured canoe, but, finding it useless, again vented 
their rage in a series of hideous vociferations, and rushed 
up into the hills. 

We were thus relieved from immediate danger, but 
our situation was still sufficiently gloomy. We knew 
that four canoes of the kind we had were at one 
time in the possession of the savages, and were not 
aware of the fact (afterward ascertained from our cap 
tive) that two of these had been blown to pieces in the 
explosion of the Jane Guy. We calculated, therefore, 
upon being yet pursued, as soon as our enemies could 
get round to the bay (distant about three miles) where 
the boats were usually laid up. Fearing this, we made 
every exertion to leave the island behind us, and went 
rapidly through the water, forcing the prisoner to take a 
paddle. In about half an hour, when we had gained, 
probably, five or six miles to the southward, a large fleet 
of the flat-bottomed canoes or rafts was seen to emerge 
from the bay, evidently with the design of pursuit. 
Presently they put back, despairing to overtake us. 



A. GORDON PYM. 193 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

WE now found ourselves in the wide and desolate 
Antarctic Ocean, in a latitude exceeding eighty-four de 
grees, in a frail canoe, and with no provision but the 
three turtles. The long Polar winter, too, could not be 
considered as far distant, and it became necessary that 
we should deliberate well upon the course to be pursued. 
There were six or seven islands in sight belonging to 
the same group, and distant from each other about five 
or six leagues ; but upon neither of these had we any 
intention to venture. In coming from the northward in 
the Jane Guy we had been gradually leaving behind us 
the severest regions of ice this, however little it may 
be in accordance with the generally-received notions re 
specting the Antarctic, was a fact experience would not 
permit us to deny. To attempt, therefore, getting back, 
would be folly especially at so late a period of the sea 
son. Only one course seemed to be left open for hope. 
We resolved to steer boldly to the southward, where 
there was at least a probability of discovering other 
lands, and more than a probability of finding a still 
milder climate. 

So far we had found the Antarctic, like the Arctic 
Ocean, peculiarly free from violent storms or immoder 
ately rough water ; but our canoe was, at best, of frail 
structure, although large, and we set busily to work with 
a view of rendering her as safe as the limited means in 
our possession would admit. The body of the boat was 
of no better material than bark the bark of a tree un 
known. The ribs were of a tough osier, well adapted 
to the purpose for which it was used. We had fifty feet 
room from stem to stern, from four to six in breadth, 
and in depth throughout four feet and a half the boats 
thus differing vastly in shape from those of any other in 
habitants of the Southern Ocean with whom civilized na 
il 



194 NARRATIVE OF 

tions are acquainted. We never did believe them the 
workmanship of the ignorant islanders who owned them; 
and some days after this period discovered, by question 
ing our captive, that they were in fact made by the na 
tives of a group to the southwest of the country where 
we found them, having fallen accidentally into the hands 
of our barbarians. What we could do for the security 
of our boat was very little indeed. Several wide rents 
were discovered near both ends, and these we contrived 
to patch up with pieces of woollen jacket. With the 
help of the superfluous paddles, of which there were a 
great many, we erected a kind of framework about the 
bow, so as to break the force of any seas which might 
threaten to fill us in that quarter. We also set up two 
paddle-blades for masts, placing them opposite each 
other, one by each gunwale, thus saving the necessity 
of a yard. To these masts we attached a sail made of 
our shirts doing this with some difficulty, as here we 
could get no assistance from our prisoner whatever, al 
though he had been willing enough to labour in all the 
other operations. The sight of the linen seemed to affect 
him in a very singular manner. He could not be prevailed 
upon to touch it or go near it, shuddering when we at 
tempted to force him, and shrieking out Tekeli-li ! 

Having completed our arrangements in regard to the 
security of the canoe, we now set sail to the south south 
east for the present, with the view of weathering the 
most southerly of the group in sight. This being done, 
we turned the bow full to the southward. The weather 
could by no means be considered disagreeable. We had 
a prevailing and very gentle wind from the northward, a 
smooth sea, and continual daylight. No ice whatever 
was to be seen ; nor did I ever see one particle of this 
after leaving the parallel of Bennett's Islet. Indeed, the 
temperature of the water was here far too warm for its 
existence in any quantity. Having killed the largest of 
our tortoises, and obtained from him not only food, but 
a copious supply of water, we continued on our course, 
without any incident of moment, for perhaps seven or 
eight days, during which period we must have proceeded 



A. GORDON PYM. 195 

a vast distance to the southward, as the wind blew con 
stantly with us, and a very strong current set continually 
in the direction we were pursuing. 

March 1.* Many unusual phenomena now indicated 
that we were entering upon a region of novelty and 
wonder. A high range of light gray vapour appeared 
constantly in the southern horizon, flaring up occasionally 
in lofty streaks, now darting from east to west, now from 
west to east, and again presenting a level and uniform 
summit in short, having all the wild variations of the 
Aurora Borealis. The average height of this vapour, as 
apparent from our station, was about twenty-five de 
grees. The temperature of the sea seemed to be in 
creasing momentarily, and there was a very perceptible 
alteration in its colour. 

March 2. To-day, by repeated questioning of our cap 
tive, we came to the knowledge of many particulars in 
regard to the island of the massacre, its inhabitants, and 
customs but with these how can I now detain the 
reader 1 I may say, however, that we learned there 
were eight islands in the group that they were gov 
erned by a common king, named Tsalemon or Psalemoun, 
who resided in one of the smallest of the islands that 
the black skins forming the dress of the warriors came 
from an animal of huge size to be found only in a valley 
near the court of the king that the inhabitants of the 
group fabricated no other boats than the flat-bottomed 
rafts ; the four canoes being all of the kind in their pos 
session, and these having been obtained, by mere acci 
dent, from some large island to the southwest that his 
own name was Nu-Nu that he had no knowledge of 
Bennett's Islet and that the appellation of the island 
we had left was TsalaL The commencement of the 
words Tsalemon and Tsalal was given with a prolonged 
hissing sound, which we found it impossible to imitate, 
even after repeated endeavours, and which was precisely 

* For obvious reasons I cannot pretend to strict accuracy in these 
dates. They are given principally with a view to perspicuity of nar 
ration, and as set down in my pencil memoranda. 



196 NARRATIVE OF 

the same with the note of the black bittern we had eaten 
upon the summit of the hill. 

March 3. The heat of the water was now truly re 
markable, and its colour was undergoing a rapid change, 
being no longer transparent, but of a milky consistency 
and hue. In our immediate vicinity it was usually 
smooth, never so rough as to endanger the canoe but 
we were frequently surprised at perceiving, to out right 
and left, at different distances, sudden and extensive agi 
tations of the surface these, we at length noticed, were 
always preceded by wild flickerings in the region of va 
pour to the southward. 

March 4. To-day, with the view of widening our sail, 
the breeze from the northward dying away perceptibly, I 
took from my coat-pocket a white handkerchief. Nu-Nu 
was seated at my elbow, and the linen accidentally fla 
ring in his face, he became violently affected with con 
vulsions. These were succeeded by drowsiness and 
stupor, and low murmurings of Tekeli-li ! Tekeli-li ! 

March 5. The wind had entirely ceased, but it was 
evident that we were still hurrying on to the southward, 
under the influence of a powerful current. And now, 
indeed, it would seem reasonable that we should experi 
ence some alarm at the turn events were taking but we 
felt none. The countenance of Peters indicated nothing 
of this nature, although it wore at times an expression I 
could not fathom. The Polar winter appeared to be 
coming on but coming without its terrors. I felt a 
numbness of body and mind a dreaminess of sensation 
but this was all. 

March 6. The gray vapour had now arisen many more 
degrees above the horizon, and was gradually losing its 
grayness of tint. The heat of the water was extreme, 
even unpleasant to the touch, and its milky hue was more 
evident than ever. To-day a violent agitation of the 
water occurred very close to the canoe. It was attended, 
as .usual, with a wild flaring up of the vapour at its sum 
mit, and a momentary division at its base. A fine white 
powder, resembling ashes but certainly not such fell 
over the canoe and over a large surface of the water, as 



A. GORDON PYM. 197 

the flickering died away among the vapour and the com 
motion subsided in the sea. Nu-Nu now threw himself 
on his face in the bottom of the boat, and no persuasions 
could induce him to arise. 

March 7. This day we questioned Nu-Nu concerning 
the motives of his countrymen in destroying our compan 
ions ; but he appeared to be too utterly overcome by 
terror to afford us any rational reply. He still obsti 
nately lay in the bottom of the boat ; and, upon our reiter 
ating the questions as to the motive, made use only of 
idiotic gesticulations, such as raising with his forefinger 
the upper lip, and displaying the teeth which lay beneath 
it. These were black. We had never before seen the 
teeth of an inhabitant of Tsalal. 

March 8. To-day there floated by us one of the white 
animals whose appearance upon the beach at Tsalal had 
occasioned so wild a commotion among the savages. I 
would have picked it up, but there came over me a sud 
den listlessness, and I forbore. The heat of the water 
still increased, and the hand could no longer be endured 
within it. Peters spoke little, and I knew not what to 
think of his apathy. Nu-Nu breathed, and no more. 

March 9. The white ashy material fell now continually 
around us, and in vast quantities. The range of vapour 
to the southward had arisen prodigiously in the horizon, 
and began to assume more distinctness of form. I can 
liken it to nothing but a limitless cataract, rolling silently 
into the sea from some immense and far-distant rampart 
in the heaven. The gigantic curtain ranged along the 
whole extent of the southern horizon. It emitted no 
sound. 

March 21. A sullen darkness now hovered above us 
but from out the milky depths of the ocean a luminous 
glare arose, and stole up along the bulwarks of the boat. 
We were nearly overwhelmed by the white ashy shower 
which settled upon us and upon the canoe, but melted 
into the water as it fell. The summit of the cataract 
was utterly 'lost in the dimness and the distance. Yet 
we were evidently approaching it with a hideous velocity. 
At intervals there were visible in it wide, yawning, but 
R2 



198 NARRATIVE OF A. GORDON PYM. 

momentary rents, and from out these rents, within which 
was a chaos of flitting and indistinct images, there came 
rushing and mighty, but soundless winds, tearing up the 
enkindled ocean in their course. 

March 22. The darkness had materially increased, re 
lieved only by the glare of the water thrown back from 
the white curtain before us. Many gigantic and pallidly 
white birds flew continuously now from beyond the veil, and 
their scream was the eternal Tekeli-li ! as they retreated 
from our vision. Hereupon Nu-Nu stirred in the bottom 
of the boat ; but, upon touching him, we found his spirit 
departed. And now we rushed into the embraces of the 
cataract, where a chasm threw itself open to receive us. 
But there arose in our pathway a shrouded human figure, 
very far larger in its proportions than any dweller among 
men. And the hue of the skin of the figure was of the 
perfect whiteness of the snow. 



f 






NOTE. 



THE circumstances connected with the late sudden and distres 
sing death of Mr. Pym are already well known to the public 
through the medium of the daily press. It is feared that the few 
remaining chapters which were to have completed his narrative, and 
which were retained by him, while the above were in type, for the 
purpose of revision, have been irrecoverably lost through the ac 
cident by which he perished himself. This, however, may prove not 
to be the case, and the papers, if ultimately found, will be given to 
the public. 

No means have been left untried to remedy the deficiency. The 
gentleman whose name is mentioned in the preface, and who, from 
the statement there made, might be supposed able to fill the vacuum, 
has declined the task this for satisfactory reasons connected with 
the general inaccuracy of the details afforded him, and his disbelief 
in the entire truth of the latter portions of the narration. Peters, 
from whom some information might be expected, is still alive, and a 
resident of Illinois, but cannot be met with at present. He may 
hereafter be found, and will, no doubt, afford material for a conclusion 
of Mr. Pym's account. 

The loss of the two or three final chapters (for there were but two 
or three) is the more deeply to be regretted, as, it cannot be doubted, 
they contained matter relative to the Pole itself, or at least to re 
gions in its very near proximity ; and as, too, the statements of the 
author in relation to these regions may shortly be verified or contra 
dicted by means of the governmental expedition now preparing for 
the Southern Ocean. 

On one point in the Narrative some remarks may be well offered ; 
and it would afford the writer of this appendix much pleasure if 
what he may here observe should have a tendency to throw credit, 
in any degree, upon the very singular pages now published. We 
allude to the chasms found in the island of Tsalal, and to the whole 
of the figures upon pages 182, 183, 184, 185. 



200 NOTE. 

Mr. Pym has given the figures of the chasms without comment, 
and speaks decidedly of the indentures found at the extremity of the 
most easterly of these chasms as having but a fanciful resemblance 
to alphabetical characters, and, in short, as being positively not such. 
This assertion is made in a manner so simple, and sustained by a 
species of demonstration so conclusive (viz., the fitting of the pro 
jections of the fragments found among the dust into the indentures 
upon the wall), that we are forced to believe the writer in earnest ; 
and no reasonable reader should suppose otherwise. But as the 
facts in relation to all the figures are most singular (especially 
when taken in connexion with statements made in the body of 
the narrative), it may be as well to say a word or two concerning 
them all this, too, the more especially as the facts in question have, 
beyond doubt, escaped the attention of Mr. Poe. 

Figure 1, then, figure 2, figure 3, and figure 5, when conjoined 
with one another in the precise order which the chasms themselves 
presented, and when deprived of the small lateral branches or arches 
(which, it will be remembered, served only as means of communica 
tion between the main chambers, and were of totally distinct char 
acter), constitute an Ethiopian verbal root the root ^ ^N^^t 
" To be shady" whence all the inflections of shadow or darkness. 

In regard to the " left or most northwardly" of the indentures in 
figure 4, it is more than probable that the opinion of Peters was cor 
rect, and that the hieroglyphical appearance was /really the work of 
art, and intended as the representation of a human form. The de 
lineation is before the reader, and he may, or may not, perceive the 
resemblance suggested ; but the rest of the indentures afford strong 
confirmation of Peters's idea. The upper range is evidently the 
Arabic verbal root ^y^IZT- AO " To be white," whence all the in 
flections of brilliancy and whiteness. The lower range is not so im 
mediately perspicuous. The characters are somewhat broken and dis 
jointed ; nevertheless, it cannot be doubted that, in their perfect state, 
they formed the full Egyptian word II &U YPHCS " The 
region of the south." It should be observed that these interpreta 
tions confirm the opinion of Peters in regard to the " most north 
wardly" of the figures. The arm is outstretched towards the south. 

Conclusions such as these open a wide field for speculation and 
exciting conjecture. They should be regarded, perhaps, in connex 
ion with some of the most faintly-detailed incidents of the narrative ; 
although in no visible manner is this chain of connexion complete. 
Tekeli-li ! was the cry of the affrighted natives of Tsalal upon dis 
covering the carcass of the white animal picked up at sea. This also 
was the shuddering exclamation of the captive Tsalalian upon en- 



NOTE. 201 

countering the white materials in possession of Mr. Pyrn. This also 
was the shriek of the swift-flying, white, and gigantic birds which is 
sued from the vapoury white curtain of the South. Nothing white 
was to be found at Tsalal, and nothing otherwise in the subsequent 
voyage to the region beyond. It is not impossible that " Tsalal," the 
appellation of the island of the chasms, may be found, upon minute 
philological scrutiny, to betray either some alliance with the chasms 
themselves, or some reference to the Ethiopian characters so mys 
teriously written in their windings. 

"/ have graven it within the hills, and my vengeance upon the dust 
within the rock." 



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Slavery in the United States. By James K. Paulding 
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Letters, Conversations, and Recollections of the lat 
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Specimens of the Table-Talk of the late Samuel Tay 

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Four Years in Great Britain. By Calvin Colton. In 
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The Life of Edmund Kean. By Barry Cornwall. 
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Luther and the Lutheran Reformation. By the Rev. 
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History of the Reformed Religion in France. By the 
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No Fiction : a Narrative founded on Recent and In 
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Constantinople and its Environs. In a Series of Let 
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The Life of Andrew Jackson, President of the United 

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Letters to Young Ladies. By Mrs. L. H. Sigourney. 
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History of Priestcraft in all Ages and Countries. By 
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Anecdotes of Sir Walter Scott. By the Ettrick Shep 
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Apician Morsels ; or, Tales of the Table, Kitchen, and 

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A Subaltern's Furlough : Descriptive of Scenery in 

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Memoirs of General Lafayette and of the French 

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My Imprisonments : Memoirs of Silvio Pellico Da 
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The Condition of Greece By Col. J. P. Miller. In 
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A. Home Tour through the Manufacturing Districts of 
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Athens : Its Rise and Fall. By E. L. Bulwer, M.P. 
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Brooks, and Mary E. Brooks. In one volume, 12mo. 

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FAMILY LIBRARY. 

Abundantly Illustrated by Maps, Portraits, and other Engravings on Steel, Copper, and Wood. 
Bound Uniformly, but each work sold separately. 

Nos. 1, 2, 3. The History of the Jews. From the 
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With Engravings, Maps, &c. 

4, 5. The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. By J. G. 

Lockhart, Esq. With Portraits. 

6. The Life of Nelson. By Robert Southey, LL.D. 
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7. The Life and Actions of Alexander the Great. 
By the Rev. J. Williams. With a Map. 

8. 74. The Natural History of Insects. In 2 
,-6mo. With Engravings. 

9. The Life of Lord Byron. By John Gait 



Harper cf Brothers. 13 

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George Bush of New-York. With Engravings. 

11. Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft. By Sir 

Walter Scott, Bart. With an Engraving. 

12. 13. History of the Bible. By the Rev. G. R. 

Gleig. With a Map. 

14. Narrative of Discovery and Adventure in the 

Polar Seas and Regions. With Illustrations of their Climate, Geol 
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By Professors Leslie and Jameson, arid Hugh Murray, Esq. With 
Maps, &c. 

15. The Life and Times of George the Fourth. 
With Anecdotes of Distinguished Persons of the last Fifty Years. 
By the Rev. George Croly. 

16. Narrative of Discovery and Adventure in Africa. 

From the Earliest Ages to the Present Time. With Illustrations 
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17. 18, 19, 66, 67. Lives of the most Eminent Paint 
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20. History of Chivalry and the Crusades. By 
G. P. R. James. With Engravings. 

21, 22. The Life of Mary Queen of Scots. By 

Henry Glassford Bell, Esq. With a Portrait. 

23. A View of Ancient and Modern Egypt. With 
an Outline of its Natural History. By the Rev. M. Russell, LL.D. 

24. History of Poland. From the Earliest Period to 
the Present Time. By James Fletcher, Esq. With a Portrait. 

25. Festivals, Games, and Amusements, Ancient and 
Modern. By Horatio Smith, Esq. With Additions, by Samuel 
Woodworth, Esq. of New- York. 

26. Life of Sir Isaac Newton. By Sir David Brew- 
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27. Palestine, or the Holy Land. From the Earliest 
Period to the Present Time. By the Rev. M. Russell, LL.D. 

28. Memoirs of the Empress Josephine. By John 
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29. The Court and Camp of Bonaparte. With a 
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B 



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30. Lives and Voyages of Drake, Cavendish, and 

Dampier. Including an Introductory View of the Earlier Dis 
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With Portraits. 

31. Description of Pitcairn's Island, and its Inhab 
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Bounty, and of the subsequent Fortunes of the Mutineers. By 
J. Barrow, Esq. With Engravings. 

32, 72. Sacred History of the World, as displayed 

in the Creation and Subsequent Events to the Deluge. Attempt 
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By Sharon Turner, F.S.A. 

33, 34. Memoirs of Celebrated Female Sovereigns. 
By Mrs. Jameson. 

35, 36. Journal of an Expedition to explore the 
Course and Termination of the Niger. With a Narrative of a 
Voyage down that River to its Termination. By Richard and 
John Lander. With Engravings. 

37. Inquiries concerning the Intellectual Powers, and 
the Investigation of Truth. By John Abercrombie, M.D., F.R.S 
With Questions. 

38, 39, 40. Lives of Celebrated Travellers. By 
James Augustus St. John. 

41, 42. Life of Frederic the Second, King of Prussia. 
By Lord Dover. With a Portrait. 

43, 44. Sketches from Venetian History. By the 
Rev. E. Smedley, M.A. With Engravings. 

45, 46. Indian Biography; or, an Historical Account 
of those individuals who have been distinguished among the North 
American Natives as Orators, Warriors, Statesmen, and other Re 
markable Characters. By B. B. Thatcher, Esq. With a Portrait. 

47, 48, 49. Historical and Descriptive Account, of 
British India. From the most Remote Period to the Present Time. 
Including a Narrative of the Early Portuguese and English Voy 
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of the Botany, Zoology, Climate, Geology, and Mineralogy. By 
Hugh Murray, Esq., James Wilson, Esq., R. K. Greville, LL.D., 
Whitelaw Ainslie, M.D., William Rhind, Esq., Professor Jameson, 
Professor Wallace, and Captain Clarence Dalrymple. 

60. Letters on Natural Magic. Addressed to Sir 
Walter Scott. By Dr. Brewster. With Engravings. 



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